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Bullied child refuses to fight back 'because it's not the Jedi way'

Chris Baynes
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A 10-year-old boy who needed hospital treatment after being beaten up by bullies, refused to fight back because “it’s not the Jedi way”, his mother said.

Lizette Casanova said her son Aiden Vasquez “felt it in his soul not to hit the kid back”, while being tormented by a classmate at his California school.

The Star Wars fan’s ordeal came to the attention of Mark Hamill – who played Luke Skywalker in the film series – who said of the boy, he was “astonished by his wisdom and courage”.

Police are investigating an allegation of assault after Ms Casanova lodged a criminal complaint about the bullying.

She also called for her son’s school, Two Bunch Palms primary in Desert Hot Springs, to take action.

“This is the third year my son is bullied,” she wrote on Facebook. “Last year he had to get stitches on his face from getting ‘pushed’, [and he was] losing his breath on the playground for getting thrown down.”

She added: “Now we’re making hospital visits, and I’m pressing charges.”

Aiden needed stitches after suffering a 3in cut during the latest incident, on Monday morning, which began with a 10-year-old classmate taking his backpack, his mother alleged.

Aiden Vasquez needed stitches after allegedly being beaten up: Lizette Casanova/Facebook
Aiden Vasquez needed stitches after allegedly being beaten up: Lizette Casanova/Facebook

She posted a picture of her son, with a bloodied face and swollen eye, on Facebook.

Ms Casanova said it was the second time he had needed hospital treatment because of bullies.

She wrote: “Aiden wants me to let everyone know he’s doing fine all stitched up and numb... he said he felt it in his soul not to hit the kid back. It’s not the Jedi way!”

After Aiden’s story was brought to the attention of Hamill on Twitter, the actor tweeted: “I’m astonished by his wisdom and courage [at] such a tender age.

“I may be a fictional Jedi, but this boy is the real deal.

“I hope he sees this message and knows how much I admire him.”

Aiden’s uncle responded to the tweet with a picture of the 10-year-old giving a thumbs-up, writing: “He’s right here and says THANK YOU!”

Two Bunch Palms headteacher Joseph Scudder promised to investigate the bullying.

“We wanted to reassure our families that the safety of our students is our number one priority,” he told thePalm Springs Desert Sun newspaper. “All incidents and complaints are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly, and this incident is no exception.”

Police confirmed to the newspaper they were investigating an allegation of assault.