According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, children with disabilities are at an increased risk of being bullied.
In 2016, a fifth-grader at Franklin Elementary in Mankato was bullied to the point he never wanted to go to lunch or play at recess. James has a learning disability, which made things particularly difficult.
One day, a group of friends — five boys from another class — noticed James being picked on at the playground.
Jack, Jake, Gus, Tyler and Landon observed the bullying firsthand. “They were like, using him and taking advantage of him,” Jake said. “Because he’s easier to pick on and it’s just not right,” Jack adds.
The boys were instantly reminded of what they’d learned in the school’s anti-bulling program. And from that moment on, the five friends decided James shouldn’t have to feel alone anymore.
As Jack, Jake, Gus, Tyler and Landon got closer to James, they learned there was a lot more to him than anyone ever expected. And the fact they’d taken the time to learn all these things about James, from his difficult past to his favorite activities, left his mother absolutely blown away.
In fact, it wasn’t long before James’ mother noticed him changing in ways she never expected…
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