September 15, 2017

"My heart is in pieces right now...my soul feels like it's ripping from my chest...this beautiful young man my son Jackson has to endure a constant barrage of derogatory comments and ignorance..."

"... like I've never witnessed. He is called ugly and freak and monster on a daily basis by his peers at school. He talks about suicide... he's not quite 8! He says he has no friends and everyone hates him. Kids throw rocks at him and push him shouting these horrific words... please please take a minute and imagine if this were your child. Take a minute to educate your children about special needs. Talk to them about compassion and love for our fellow man. His condition is called Treacher Collins...."

From the East Idaho News.

57 comments:

sodal ye said...

I shed more than a small tear for this poor boy. If there is a God, take care of this one please.

Charlotte Allen said...

The good thing is the amazing response he's gotten from parents and older boys volunteering to protect his son. I hope some of them live near Jackson.

AJ Lynch said...

Ditto what Sodal Ye said.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

I'd like to be the angle of death for the asshole bullies who torture and bully special needs kids.

JPS said...

Charlotte Allen,

Yep. It was so sad, and then I read this:

“Several parents have contacted me and said their children want to be friends with Jackson. Some older boys want to pal around with him and make sure he’s protected. It’s pretty surreal,” Bezzant says.

God bless those kids. And every time I'm tempted to damn social media, I see something like this.

Quaestor said...
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Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting. I'm going to sit down with my children (ages 6 and 3) and talk to them about how we respect, love, and protect children with special needs.

exiledonmainstreet said...

That poor child.

bagoh20 said...

Compassion is way out of line here. He's got the white privilege.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Aw, that poor little man. I hope he is shown more love to outweigh that ugliness, so he'll learn that the world is a good place, not a bad one. And I hope he is able to learn that people who hurt others have been hurt themselves, and they are the problem, and not him.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Mean people suck!

Quaestor said...

Jackson can at least take solace in that he is being bullied and ostracized for a physical malformity and not his convictions. With proper influence from his parents, a child of normal intelligence will grow out of such infantile barbarities as hating someone for his mere appearance by about 15 or 16. Unfortunately, the influence of today's teachers and today's media will teach the recovering bully a new form of hatred and abuse.

Jackson hasn't been required to relinquish his soul to gain acceptance by his peers — not yet.

George Grady said...

I actually know two people with Treacher-Collins: on is a member of my church, and the other is a student in my sons' elementary school. "Special needs" is inaccurate here. They're perfectly normal intellectually. T-C is a physical abnormality only. If anything, though, that makes the bullying harder to take, as they understand completely what's going on.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

In a perfect world, none of this would happen. All parents should teach their children kindness. And this child's parents should provide the support needed so he can cope with the verbal abuse.

They should also take him to some form of martial arts training. With a bit of work he could be a junior black belt by the time he is twelve, and capable of physically defending himself against anyone in his own grade significantly sooner than that.

Ken B said...

We want the name of a bullier! How can we launch a Twitter storm against his parents without a name?!

Expat(ish) said...

I went to relatively tough schools in the un/integrated south in the 60's and 70's and we had much worse looking kids than that in our classes - we were early in the "mainstream" movement.

I remember exactly zero cases where bullies were not dealt with harshly by other children. And the bullies knew better than to try that krep in front of adults - this was the end of the paddling era too.

Perhaps this zero tolerance march has erased the social structure that protected the truly weak.

-XC

PS - All my kids understood that I would absolutely fault them for not taking care of bullies and that I would stand behind them at the inevitable retribution from lilly livered administrators. I explained to them that they'd forget the punishment and always remembered that they were the kind of people who ran toward the fire.

Smilin' Jack said...

He says he has no friends and everyone hates him. Kids throw rocks at him and push him shouting these horrific words... please please take a minute and imagine if this were your child. Take a minute to educate your children about special needs.

But I thought children had to be taught to hate....

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Poor kid. As a long-time hater of what's today called "PC Culture" I will still be the first to say that good manners and actual human decency (compassion, respect for others) ought to be taught to all children and upheld by adults.
I hope he does get a couple of big friends to stick up for him--if a punk bully threw some rocks at someone and later got his ass kicked I'd sure do what I could to make sure the ass-kicking friend "got away with it."

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof; people who make life more difficult for people who have it hard already are the worst.

Swede said...

I hope that the fathers of these bullying boys remember that belts are for more than keeping your pants up.

Yancey Ward said...

I think the real barrier isn't the lack of compassion as much as it is the group conformity that children have as a very natural tendency. Making that conformity work for you in this case is what needs to be done, and it can really only be done by the parents of the children who are doing the bullying.

Bob Ellison said...

With a special-needs kid, or any kid with a personality, in school, the training goes both ways: the other kids learn how to take care of each other, and the special kids learn what it's like to grow up around everyone else.

That's part of the main-streaming argument, and it makes sense. Like most social arguments, though, it has limits. A kid being abused by classmates needs protection.

I've known young boys and girls of the type to contact this father and say "I'll be his friend; I'll look out for him." There are lots of those good young citizens around. Often the kid with something a little special about him/herself is quickest to step up.

Known Unknown said...

It's bad enough the kid has Treacher-Collins -- he really looks like a wonderful boy, but he has an attention whore for a dad.

Sydney said...

That's terrible. My son went through school with a child with Treacher-Collins. I never remember any of the kids ganging up on her that way. She was active in the music department performances and never shied away from being in the public. She's now a biomedical engineer.

n.n said...
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n.n said...

The Pro-Choice religion and diversity doctrine have taught the wrong lessons.

Kevin said...

The solution is simple: The bullies should dress in all-black with masks over their faces and declare they're doing it because he is a white supremacist.

The media and much of the country would not only support their right to push him around, they'd call for them to do it.

Laslo Spatula said...

Imagine if the poor kid was black, too.

I am Laslo.

Birches said...

I think most parents would probably be shocked their kids are being mean. And I don't mean because they think their kid is an angel. Kids do what they want and it's hard to know if they're "walking the walk" when they're away from home.

SweatBee said...

"'Special needs' is inaccurate here. They're perfectly normal intellectually"

I also know someone with T-C, and I would say they do have 'special needs.' It's just that the needs are not of the intellectual variety. If you have to have a trach to breathe, you land in the hospital from so much as a cold due to your physical challenges, and are deaf because you were born without some parts of your ears, then you definitely have needs beyond that of kids born without T-C.

Big Mike said...

Kids can be seriously mean.

Owen said...

I suspect the tormenting children are (1) showing off to their peers (2) indulging in the usual impulse to reject the Other and/or (3) fascinated by the evil rite in which they are involved. Defining "deliberation" and "premeditation" here is tricky. Kids are still trying to figure this out.

I would start therefore from a tactical posture of understanding/patience/strict adherence to the idea that the kids should "be decent humans and respond in a friendly way to this poor guy, whose bones are a bit different but whose heart is just like yours." Only if the little tormentors failed then to shape up, would I beat them senseless.

IMHO.

Unknown said...

I know a grown man maybe 35 years old with this syndrome. He is hard to look at but has a job and a very attractive wife. He wears a hearing aid. I know better but still look away when I see him. It is very hard to overcome aversion to distorted facial appearance.

tcrosse said...

I suspect the tormenting children are (1) showing off to their peers (2) indulging in the usual impulse to reject the Other and/or (3) fascinated by the evil rite in which they are involved.

Some never grow out of it.

D.E. Cloutier said...

Ignorance is Bliss: "They should also take him to some form of martial arts training."

Years ago, in front of a group of 12-year-old boys and girls, the son of my second wife flattened an aggressive bully with one quick punch.

Getting up from the ground, the bully sheepishly asked: "Why didn't you tell me you knew karate?"

southcentralpa said...

If Idaho doesn't have cyber charter, move to a state that does ...

The Godfather said...

Let's not forget that kids at that age tease and torment othere kids, regardless of what they look like. Even I -- I a perfect person -- was teased. Jackson it seems will grow up to look "funny". It's important that he have support now from his family and school to prepare him for that. Perhaps that's what all the fuss is about, but I'm not entirely sure it isn't about creating a victim. And this young man does NOT need to be a victim.

David said...

the bully sheepishly asked: "Why didn't you tell me you knew karate?"

Of course, he did, in the way that the other kid will remember well.

Unfortunately not everybody can pull that off.

mockturtle said...

In elementary school most of us went out of our way to be kind and friendly with special needs kids. I honestly don't remember any of them being bullied. Are kids meaner now?

David said...

"but I'm not entirely sure it isn't about creating a victim. And this young man does NOT need to be a victim."

My son was bullied badly in early middle school, so badly that we (after waiting too long) found him another school. It's about leadership, even at that age. In his class the leaders were nasty little shits. The school, supposedly one of the best public schools on the North Shore of Chicago, was lead by cowards, who were unwilling to confront the little bastards or their parents..

The boy is already a victim. Nothing is gained, and much may be lost, by pretending that he is not



David said...

"Are kids meaner now?"

I think my point about leadership is a big factor here. And no, I do not mean that it is Trump's fault.

PJ57 said...

Stories like this always remind me of the farcical quality of those thinkers, like Rousseau, who opined that human beings are good and society corrupts them. Babarism is always just beneath the surface, the Lord of the Flies and his henchman reign, and as a civilized society collapses around us, this little boy will not be the only victim.

Gahrie said...

ike Rousseau, who opined that human beings are good and society corrupts them

Humans are born as barbarians and have to be civilized as they are raised. Our laws recognize this explicitly in the way we treat child criminals differently from adult criminals.

bgates said...

These parents don't exactly sound like Harvard material.

Gospace said...

D.E. Cloutier said...
Getting up from the ground, the bully sheepishly asked: "Why didn't you tell me you knew karate?"


Because surprise is the best weapon. My two oldest were asked that same question. Stories must have been passed down, my other three were never bothered by bullies.

Etienne said...

You can't mainstream kids like this.

Mark said...

No, it will not be easy for him, not because of him, but because we live in an ugly world. It is our hearts that are ugly and that are unable to truly see as we should.

A few years ago there was a little girl in the news who I will identify merely as JW because she and her family have decided to step out of the spotlight. But she was born with a much, much more severe case. And when I first saw her on TV as an infant, I gasped and thought some really shameful, evil thoughts.

But then they showed her in the hospital for one of her many dozens of surgeries to try to construct a face for her, and she reached her arms out with a whimpering sound, then I saw her as any three-year-old who wanted her daddy, and I was able to see the beauty in her. A beautiful little girl who had a lot to teach me.

Owen said...

Mark: great story about the little girl. Yes, we all want the same, simple, thing.

Joan said...

You can't mainstream kids like this.

Etienne would prefer we just make the ugly kids all go somewhere far away so "nice" "normal" people don't have to look at them. Would've been so much better if his mother had had an abortion, right?

Today's gospel: Whatsoever you did for the least of these, you did for me...

Freeman Hunt said...

"It's about leadership, even at that age. In his class the leaders were nasty little shits."

I agree with that.

The boy looks fine to me. I expected the pictures to look shocking based on the quote, but he looks fine. Parents should switch him to a school that happened to end up with better kids.

Luke Lea said...

Just finished Angela Nagels "Kill All Normies." If this follows form, the next thing is that the father and son both will be unmercifully trolled by 4chans. Is that still going on?

Jay Elink said...
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Jay Elink said...

I wonder if actor DJ Qualls had the same problems when he was a kid.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0702809/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t3

As Mo once told Homer (who was worrying about dying) he's definitely not open casket material, but...


Qualls didn't have the same physical issues (in his case it was childhood lymphoma), but somehow he managed to deal with it.

Lets hope this kid does too.

Mac McConnell said...

Problem is that things have changed so much from the 60s and 70s. Now days "protectors" of these kids would have criminal records instead of being celebrated.

Darrell said...

Kids--in groups-- have always been assholes. They will always find something to pick on. If you are being picked on, you have to learn how to fight it. The most effective way is wit and getting the majority of the crowd to start mocking the big mouths. The most troubling thing in the article is talk about suicide. It's up to the parent to harden the kid against bullying. To get him to not take the opinions of others seriously. Who cares what other people think? And yes, I know that sounds funny/contradictory since this is being written on a blog.

Mac McConnell said...

Kids in groups are like riots, they produce bullies and cowards, leaders and followers. The cowardly followers many times follow out of fear of the bully, wanting his approval or fear of being the target.
It's all good telling a child to respect themselves, but mocking a bully without the means to protect one's self will get your child's ass kicked.

FredwinaD said...

I'm a special ed teacher, and I would consider him to have special needs. I find it hard to believe that everyone hates him. I am sure there are some kids who are horrible bullies, but I doubt it's everyone. I don't know - I just feel like bullying is over-dramatized these days. I was bullied, and both of my kids were bullied. It sucks, and it upset me more as a parent than when it was happening to me. I just supported my children unconditionally, listened to them whenever they needed to talk, and taught them how to respond verbally and mentally to bullies. Sometimes I said some very, not-so-nice things to my kids about specific kids who were doing the bullying. My kids always got a kick out of that, and it took the bullies down a peg or two in my kids' eyes.

I DO think it's important that we address bullying. But I also think we need to teach our children how to respond to being bullied, both personally and when responding to the bullies (which may include just ignoring them or even pitying them). I think there's too much glorification of victimhood these days. I don't believe that bullies can "make" you commit suicide. I know that's a controversial opinion, but I just don't buy it. So many kids are bullied and never even consider suicide. I think these news stories about kids been "driven to suicide" by bullies just romanticize suicide and give kids the idea that suicide is a way to "punish" the people who bully them.

Also, I taught my kids kindness and acceptance of others, and I teach my students that, as well. I called out rude or unkind behavior whenever I saw it occur from them or their peers. My kids knew they'd be in big trouble if I ever heard of them picking on someone. I run my classroom that way, as well. I pay attention to how my kids (my own and my students) treat others, and I address both the positives and the negatives. Adults - parents, teachers, coaches - need to pay attention at all times and intervene and teach whenever necessary.

As for this little guy, I think he's adorable. And I hope he can see his way through this and come out stronger. I'm glad he has loving parents.

Tina848 said...

Why leave him in the school? Cyber school, private school, hire a tutor. GET HIM OUT.