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An Australian mother took to Facebook to share a crushing video of her 9-year-old son, who she says is routinely bullied at school due to his physical appearance.
Yarraka Bayles shared a live video on Feb. 21 of her young son Quaden, who was born with Achondroplasia — a genetic condition that results in dwarfism — sobbing as she and her daughter picked him up from school, following an apparent incident involving a female classmate.
“We went to pick him up and we saw a student patting him on the head and making fun of his height,” Bayles said. “And I said, ‘Do you want me to do something about it?’ He ran to the car in hysterics because he doesn’t want me to make a scene at the school.”
At multiple times during the heartbreaking video, which has since been viewed more than 8 million times, Quaden can be heard saying “I’m gonna kill myself” and asking his mother for a knife so he can end his life.
“This is the impact bullying has on a 9-year-old kid that just wants to go to school, get an education and have fun,” Bayles tells viewers. “But every single fr***** day, something happens.”
“I’ve got a son who is suicidal almost every single day,” she added.
“This is what bullying does, people.”
The distraught mother went on to explain that her son experiences bullying and cruel comments outside of the classroom as well, adding that it happens “almost every time” they are in public.
“This is the side that I don’t choose to share, I choose to keep this private, but we can’t do it anymore,” she said. “We try to be as strong and positive as possible and only share the highlights, but this is how bullying affects a 9-year old kid.”
In an interview with Australian outlet SBS, Bayles said Quaden previously attempted suicide once when he was just 6 years old, following the death of his grandfather.
She says she is forced to keep a close eye on him, fearing any instance of bullying could be the “final straw” for her struggling child.
“Its the constant bullying, the name-calling, obviously pointing out his difference,” she said on Facebook. “So now we have a very, severely suicidal child who’s sick of the bullying that is every single day that he attends school or is in public. It’s every single f****** day and we’re sick of it.”
“I just want people to know and see the impact because this could be your child, or your child could be the bully that pushes a kid over the edge,” she added while choking up. “God forbid we lose another child to suicide because of the bullying.”
Quaden’s mother, who frequently shares updates about her son on the Facebook page “Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism,” released a statement after her video went viral, giving thanks “for the overwhelming show of love and support from so many people from all around the world.”
“Quaden’s feeling the love and now he needs a good rest,” she added. “We are meeting with the appropriate people in power to make changes and make a stand against bullying.”
In the meantime, a GoFundMe page has been started to send Quaden and his family to Disneyland. The page has already raised over $22,000, smashing through its original $10,000 goal.