OPINION: Brave Quaden Bayles Brings Awareness to Horrors of Bullying

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This week, the story of nine-year-old Australian boy Quaden Bayles has gone viral. Days ago, Quaden’s mother posted a video of her son feeling clearly distraught after subjection to ongoing bullying from his classmates.

The video is deeply upsetting to watch. Quaden, who suffers from dwarfism, is seen crying and even expresses an interest in killing himself because of the bullying.

In the wake of the viral footage, countless people and celebrities across the globe have shown support to Quaden Bayles and his family. The GoFundMe page to send Quaden to Disneyland has garnered over $250,000 in donations, despite the original goal of $10,000.

#QuadenBayles is also currently trending on Twitter while new developments confirm that the nine-year-old has received invites to NBA games, martial arts lessons, and more.

The support for Quaden is nothing short of amazing. However, the fact that an innocent child was in this much pain, to begin with, indicates the importance of more work to end bullying.

Responsibilities of the School Staffers

The distressing footage in which Quaden talks about suicide came after numerous incidents of bullying. This was not a one-time incident and quite frankly, Quaden’s school bears some responsibility for what he endured.

Teachers and other school staffers cannot observe every single incident of bullying; however, when a child is consistently targeted and made fun of, at some point, school faculty members ought to be aware and take action accordingly.

No child deserves day-in and day-out subjection to torment and emotional abuse. If staffers at Quaden’s school knew what went on and failed to appropriately penalize the bullies, that’s problematic. If Quaden’s teachers and other faculty members truly didn’t know of his consistent subjection to bullies, then this speaks to their incompetence and lack of fitness to have authority over kids.

Online trends, hashtags, and calls to end bullying are great and must continue. However, the adults in charge of the facilities in which bullying occurs must also be held accountable. Allowing a child to feel so ongoingly beaten down that he wants to take his own life is inexcusable. The bullies ought to be ashamed of themselves, as should the school staffers who failed to intervene.

An Update on Quaden Bayles

Since the enormous amount of support and kindness, Quaden seems to be doing well. In another video, he talks about combatting school bullying, standing up for yourself, and not listening to the bullies. The nine-year-old is also visibly happier, seen playing ball in the park with other kids.

Many children like Quaden face subjection to relentless bullying; however, not everyone receives viral support of the aforementioned magnitude. Hopefully, Quaden’s story will not only remind people to be kind, but also engender a more concentrated effort to ensure that schools are doing everything possible to combat and end bullying.