UPDATE: (CBS NEWSPATH/WKG)
CBS NEWSPATH/WKRG) — An Australian boy who was severely bullied at school was on Friday invited to lead the Indigenous All Stars rugby league team onto the field for Sunday’s exhibition match. Quaden Bayles, who has dwarfism, received an outpouring of support worldwide after his mother shared an emotional clip of him on social media. His mother is speaking out about the worldwide support he’s been shown. That includes nearly $300,000 raised as of Friday morning by a comedian who also has dwarfism to send him to Disneyland.
Comedian Brad Williams has championed the boy’s cause with the Go Fund Me campaign.
In the viral video, the nine-year-old Indg appeared distraught after a bullying incident at his school.
During a news conference on the Gold Coast on Friday, his mother Yarraka Bayles told reporters that when Quaden received the invitation, it was “the best day of his life. “
She also said that she hoped the video would create awareness for her son’s condition, “We’ve always had amazing community support especially from, you know, the footy (rugby league) boys, they’re all his uncles, related to most of them, so they’ve always been there. But nowhere near the amount of support, we could never have dreamt in our wildest dreams that it would’ve gone worldwide and created such a media frenzy. I mean, just being contacted nonstop and people rocking up at our house and contacting every single person, it’s far exceeded anything we could’ve imagined.”
Indigenous rugby League player Cody Walker, who is taking part in the exhibition match, said his team wanted to lift Quaden’s spirits.
His mother went on to say, ” “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare losing their babies and for me that’s my reality every day. That’s what I have to prepare for – the worst, because everything he is going through with his medical condition, the suicide attempts are very real and people don’t understand that. On top of that, being an Aboriginal boy with a disability, people don’t understand that it’s a double-edged sword. You’re discriminated against, you know it’s racism and then also discriminated against because of a disability, so it’s extremely hard, but it’s also strengthening, it’s brought a whole family together, strengthened us, it has brought a whole community together, it has brought, you know, the whole short-statured people of the world together in helping raise and make sure that he’s safe. So, our first priority is obviously his health and wellbeing and we’re trying to keep him as protected as possible. With going public, there are no pros and cons, so his safety and health and wellbeing is always our first priority.”
She hopes this will really shine a light on bullying, ” There are way too many people suffering in silence and my heart goes out to those families that have already lost their children to bullying. It’s been way too many and it’s something that needs to be addressed, it’s an international crisis and it demands urgent attention.”
UPDATE: A GoFundMe page has been started by comedian Brad Williams, who has drawfism, to send Quaden and his mother to Disneyland.
“This isn’t just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren’t good enough,” Williams wrote. “Let’s show Quaden and others, that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it.”
As of Thursday evening, the page has raised nearly $100,000.
BRISBANE, Australia (KRON) – A mom is calling on schools and parents to teach children disability awareness after a bullying incident left her 9-year-old son in tears, saying he wants to die.
Yarraka Bayles shared the emotional video on Facebook Tuesday, showing her son Quaden crying after school.
In the video, Bayles says Quaden was born with Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism.
“I’ve just picked up my son from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal, and I want people [to] know, parents, educators teachers, this is the effects that bullying has, this is what bullying does,” Bayles is heard saying in the background.
Bayles told Australian news outlet SBS that she witnessed a classmate of Quaden patting him on the head and making references to his height.
She said she shared the video because the bullying is ongoing and Quaden has attempted suicide several times.
Bayles said she doesn’t point fingers at the school or the students for the incident.
Rather than placing blame, she said she just thinks more needs to be done to teach children about disabilities.
Since it was shared earlier this week, the video has gone viral with over 7 million views and thousands of shares.
The video even caught the attention of some local athletes and celebrities in support of Quaden.
One of them is Indigenous Australian professional rugby league footballer Latrell Mitchell, who recently met with Quaden and took a picture with him.
View this post on Instagram
Well done to the Indigenous NRL All Stars Team for standing up to bullying and giving such a special honour to a very special young Indigenous son Quaden Bayles – Y’all know how I feel about bullying of any kind, people big or small, who are unkind can straight get in the rubbish where they belong.. Life is for the loving ♥️
Quaden has since been pulled from school and his mother is considering homeschooling him.
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