No parent wants to hear that their child is being bullied, or is in fact a bully. So when Dan Bezzant, a father from Idaho, discovered his 7-year-old son was being teased to the point he was talking about suicide, he had to step in.
The Daily Dot reported that Bezzant, received a worrying phone call from his ex-wife who told him that his son, Jackson, had been picked on during the school's morning break. Three older boys called him names and told him he looked like a monster.
A teacher stepped in and stopped the bullying, but the thought of his young boy being being verbally attacked broke Bezzant down and he began to cry.
Jackson, who was born with Treacher Collins, looks different from the other kids at school. Treacher Collins is a rare facial bone and tissue development disorder, which has resulted in Jackson having to under go surgery to rebuild his left eye socket. He will have to have more procedures in the future and he has to wear hearing aids.
Jackson's dad says his son is endlessly teased about his looks and that it's not just the kids who stare at him on the streets, adults do too.
"The adults are worse than the children," Bezzant told East Idaho News. "One time a woman walked past us and we could hear her say, ‘Did you see that little boy’s face?’ If she’s saying things like that, what are her children saying? How are they acting?"
The doting father, inspired by the injustice suffered by his son, wrote a Facebook status, sharing Jackson's story and pleading to parents to educate their children about people with disabilities and differences.
"My heart is in pieces right now...my soul feels like it's ripping from my chest..." he wrote.
"This beautiful young man, my son Jackson, has to endure a constant barrage of derogatory comments and ignorance like I've never witnessed. He is called ugly and freak and monster on a daily basis by his peers at school. He talks about suicide...he's not quite 8!"
"He says he has no friends and everyone hates him. Kids throw rocks at him and push him shouting these horrific words...please, please take a minute and imagine if this were your child. Take a minute to educate your children about special needs. Talk to them about compassion and love for our fellow man. His condition is called Treacher Collins. Maybe even look it up. He's endured horrific surgery and has several more in the coming years. Anyway...I could go on...but please educate your children. Please...share this. This shouldn't be happening...to anyone."
The day after Bezzant posted his plea, it had been shared more than 2,500 times. Currently, it has been shared 104,292 times and has received over 70,000 comments. Some parents have shared that their children want to be friends with Jackson and protect him, while others have offered to send money and gifts, which Bezzant has declined.
"I want parents to see my post and feel my heartbreak. This could be any kid anywhere," Bezzant told East Idaho News. "Please educate your children and let them know that bullying is not OK…I didn’t think a simple Facebook post would get this big. I just hope this helps."