A distraught mother has shared a video on social media of her nine-year-old son with dwarfism saying he wants to "kill himself" after being bullied.
Mom Yarraka Bayles of Brisbane, Australia, accompanied the video with the caption: "This is the impacts of bullying! I seriously don’t know what else to do!"You can watch the full video below (warning: some viewers may find it upsetting):
In the video, Yarraka's young son, Quaden, cries uncontrollably and threatens to kill himself following an incident at his school. Quaden was born with achondroplasia - the most common form of short-limbed Dwarfism - which his mom says has resulted in constant bullying from his peers, SBS reports.
Since being shared to Facebook on Tuesday, the video has since been viewed over 17 million times on the social media platform, and received more than 315K shares and nearly 150K comments (as of this writing).
In the video, Yarraka pleads: "I've just picked my son up from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal, and I want people to know - parents, educators, teachers - this is the effect that bullying has. This is what bullying does."
As his mother is talking, an inconsolable Quaden says: "Give me a knife, I'm going to kill myself."
After the video going viral, Ms Bayles spoke to NITV News and revealed she was left heartbroken by her son's words, adding that she felt "helpless".
Discussing the upsetting incident that occurred earlier that day, Yarraka recalled:
"He wasn't even going to school yesterday until the principal rang and said the Brisbane Bullets [a basketball team] were coming. I went to pick him up and saw him with the kids and the Bullets on the basketball court. Me, my daughter, and my granddaughter were watching and then while they were lining up to get their singlets signed by the players, one of his classmates was patting him on the head and making references to his height.
"She was patting him on the head like a little puppy. My daughter and I looked at each other and we made signals to him to ask if you are right, and he was like 'No' and he was looking at me horrified, like 'Don't make a scene mom'.
"You could tell he was very uncomfortable but he was so good at trying to shrug things off, he doesn't want people to know how much it's affecting him, he's so strong and confident but it's times like these when you just see him crumble. It was just heartbreaking to watch, it made me feel helpless."
Since live-streaming the video on Facebook, Ms Bayles says she has received an outpouring of support from the community, but also been criticized for the way she handled the situation. She says:
"I have copped a lot of backlash for it, I thought twice about deleting it [...] but I wanted people to see the effect bullying is having on my child. If I don't stand up and speak out for him, who will?"PLEASE, if you or anybody you know is having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to somebody or contact one of the mental health charities below:
CALM: www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
Heads Together: www.headstogether.org.uk
Mind: www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
Papyrus: www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
Samaritans: www.samaritans.org, 116 123
If you are a non-UK resident, please find a list of mental health charities HERE.