My little brother is 11 years old.
My sister got a txt from my mum this afternoon saying, ‘can you please buy Benjamin some lollies, and pick him up from school, hes feeling sad today’. We got off the bus and went to the dairy, bought a can of coke, and two packets of lollies. When we picked him up from school, i drank half the can of coke and had a few lollies, and gave them to him. His face lit up, as if i had just made his day. As we walked up the hill, we quizzed him on his day at school, and why he was sad. He told us that he was being bullied at school, and that on a daily basis he was being tripped over, verbally abused, and that he was being ‘dump-trucked’- a wrestling move which consists of him being picked up, and then thrown on the ground.
He told only two boys at school, that our dad has been diognosed with a disease called Motor Neurone Disease. The two boys at school that he trusted, and thought were his friends, now are the boys who bully him, and say to him “I dont care that your dads going to die”, as they pick him up and throw him on the ground.
He’s a small, white kid, who loves books, our cat, and his teddy bears, and he doesnt deserve this. No one does. After the death of a close friend, and the diognosise of our dad, he’s pretty distraught, and needs to be loved.
He told me he reads big heavy books, so he can imagine hes part of a different world. He has hundreds of teddy bears, because they are the only things he can trust, and can hug him at night, and who wont let him down. Fudge, Blueberry, Chocolate Chip. He loves each of these teddies dearly, and knows them all by the name he lovingly gave them. At night, he has his blankie, his faithful army of soft toys, and Simba, our cat to comfort him.
He told me he doesnt want to tell the principal because he doesnt want to be called a snitch. He doesnt want the boys to stop letting him play rugby with them, but often he is hurt, tackled, even when he doesnt have the ball. Its the only thing to do at lunchtime, he reasons. He puts up with these boys because he has no other friends.
I have tears in my eyes writing this, but i have to keep calm and carry on, as we have to create an awareness. Bullying has to stop, and its not going to stop if we sit around and watch it affect little lives that are already so fragile.
When my mum got home, she called out “i’ve been pranked!” She never sent the txt to my sister. Benjamin had sent it off her phone, needing a pick me up. He had sent out the first signal that he wasnt alright, the first SOS message.
I wrote a letter to him from his teddy bears. lets hope they help convince him that its OK to ask for help.