Updated 2/27/2020 — As a victim of bullying, students harass Yarraka Bayles’ 9-year-old son, Quaden, each and every day. And the anguished mom is at her wits end. So, she shared a heart-wrenching video of the impact the daily torment is having on her son, encouraging everyone to stand up to bullying!
Little Quaden is just like any other 9-year-old. He goes to school hoping to learn, play, and make friends.
Quaden looks a little different from his peers because he has a type of dwarfism called achondroplasia. And sadly, those differences have made him a victim of bullying for most of his life.
Rather than focusing on his sweet heart, mom Yarraka Bayles says the other students in Australia constantly point out and ridicule her son for his physical differences.
And it’s not just the kids. Because of Quaden’s condition, even some adults point, stare, and make comments when the family is out in public.
No child should want to end their own life. But after picking Quaden up one day from his school in Australia, Yarraka filmed the hysterical 9-year-old saying, “I want to die, right now.”
***Please note: Soon after the Quaden Bayles story went viral, a host of conspiracy theories arose. The accusations have been proven false by multiple outlets, yet continue to circulate and are discussed in more detail at the bottom of this article.***
Special Needs Boy Bullied For His Differences
These are words no parent ever wants to hear their child say, no matter the age. But as a victim of bullying, Yarraka says her young son regularly wishes he was dead. In fact, he’s even tried to take his own life several times, the first occurring when he was only 6, shortly after his grandfather passed away.
Because of the bullying, Yarraka Bayles often keeps her son home. But on this particular day, she’d allowed her son to attend because a local basketball team was making a special visit to the school.
When Yarraka and her daughter showed up at the school to pick Quaden up, their hearts broke as they saw a classmate picking on him.
“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 says. “She was patting him on the head like a little puppy.”
Furious, Yarraka wanted to intervene. She was shattered watching her son become a victim of bullying. But, like so many times before, Quaden begged her not to make a scene.
“You could tell he was very uncomfortable but he was so good at trying to shrug things off,” she said. “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.”
Mother Of A Victim Of Bullying Shares The Tragic Impact
Quaden Bayles puts on a brave face in front of his peers. But once he climbed into the car, he broke down. And after witnessing the devastating impact bullying is having on her son day after day, Yarraka was fed up and started filming.
"This is the impacts of bullying!" she said on Facebook, sharing the heart-wrenching video. "I seriously don't know what else to do!"
I can only imagine the anguish Yarraka Bayles feels as she listens to her sobbing son talk about killing himself. And it’s not something she would normally share. But after watching her son suffer for so long, she wants to stand up to bullying by showing the reality of how it impacts the victim and victim’s family.
“Nobody knows the battles we face in private. I usually share all the positive highlights, but this stuff needs to be addressed to save our babies’ lives.”
Yarraka is understandably very upset in the video as her hysterical son talks about how he wants to kill himself. And because she uses some colorful language, we’re unable to share the video here. But it already has more than 20 million views and over 300,000 shares!
Fed Up Mom Issues Call To Stand Up To Bullying
The video is both heartbreaking and intensely personal. And because of this, Yarraka says she’s received criticism for choosing to share it on social media.
“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,” she says.
In the video, Yarraka explains how they’ve privately been battling Quaden’s bullying for years. And she doesn’t blame the school, saying they have ‘amazing support’ systems in place.
But the responsibility of standing up to bullying goes beyond just the school. It’s up to all of us, as a society, to put an end to it.
And that’s why Yarraka is sharing the video of her son. She wants to raise awareness and encourage everyone to find a way to make sure no one becomes a victim of bullying.
"I want people to know, parents, educators, teachers," Yarraka Bayles says in the video. "This is the effects that bullying has. This is what bullying does."
For now, Quaden’s mom has pulled him from school and is considering home schooling. But as her video circulated across the Internet, strangers from all over have sent messages of support and encouragement!
Community Support For A Victim Of Bullying
Hundreds of thousands of people commented on Yarraka Bayles’ post, horrified at what her son endured on a daily basis. They offered up messages of encouragement, telling Quaden just how perfect and loved he is.
And that includes celebrities, too!
When Hugh Jackman heard Quaden’s story, he took to Twitter to send him a supportive message.
“You are stronger than you know,” he said. “And no matter what, you’ve got a friend in me.”
Hugh Jackman also had something to say to the people making Quaden a victim of bullying.
“Bullying is not okay. Period. Life is hard enough,” he said. “Let’s just remember every person in front of us is facing the same kind of battle. So let’s just be kind.”
- Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) February 20, 2020
Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan also had something to say, reminding Quaden that there is a whole world out there rooting for him.
“What I want you to know is that you have friends, me included. I am your buddy. You haven’t met me yet, but we’ll see if we can change that. Maybe your mom can DM me,” he said. “You have a bunch of friends out here, out in the world that you haven’t met yet. We’re here, we got your back. You need to know that. It’ll get better.”
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan (@JDMorgan) February 20, 2020
Comedian’s Act Of Kindness For Quaden Bayles
Quaden’s struggle struck a chord with comedian Brad Williams, who also has dwarfism. And he quickly jumped in to show his support for 9-year-old Quaden Bayles.
The comic not only reached out to the family with words of encouragement, but set up a fundraiser aimed at blessing Quaden with a trip to Disneyland.
“I want to fly Quaden and his mother to America, get them a nice hotel, and bring them to Disneyland,” Brad Williams said.
And Brad realizes Quaden isn’t the only person to suffer as a victim of bullying. It’s why so many people are coming out in full force to support Brad’s efforts and this sweet, little boy.
"I'm setting up this GoFundMe to let Quaden know that bullying will not be tolerated, and that he is a wonderful human being who deserves joy," comedian Brad Williams said. "This isn't just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren't good enough. Let's show Quaden and others, that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it."
Brad’s goal was to raise $10,000 to cover travel, hotel, food and tickets to Disneyland in Anaheim for the family. He promised to donate any excess to anti-bullying and anti-abuse charities.
And within just a few days, donations exceeded $300,000!
**2/27/2020 Fundraiser Update**
Sadly, after Quaden’s story went viral, a host of conspiracy theories arose (discussed in more detail at the bottom of this article). The accusations have been proven false by multiple sources, yet continue to circulate.
The Bayles family declined the generous offer from U.S. comic Brad Williams to send them to Disneyland. Instead, they requested the funds be donated to charities tackling childhood bullying and suicide.
“We want the money to go to community organizations that really need it. They know what the money should be spent on, So as much as we want to go to Disneyland, I think our community would far off benefit from that,” Quaden’s Aunty Mundanara Bayles said.
Quaden Bayles, A Victim Of Bullying, Inspires Others
There are many other examples of all kinds of folks coming forward to try and help. From offers of bully-proofing martial arts training to an invitation to lead his favorite rugby team onto the field during their next big match.
The outpouring of love and support for her son as a victim of bullying has meant the world to Yarraka Bayles.
“Not in our wildest dreams would we have thought it would go worldwide and created such a media frenzy,” she said.
And best of all, it let Quaden know he had so many people behind him,
“He said it was going from the worst day of his life to the best day of his life,” Yarraka says. “That sums it up perfectly.”
And while the video Yarraka shared initially showed Quaden at his lowest point, all of the kindness and support he’s received has inspired the brave boy to speak out about standing up to bullies.
“If you get bullied, just stand up for yourself,” he said.
WATCH: Quaden Bayles Inspires Others To Stand Up To Bullying
It’s absolutely heartbreaking to know this poor boy has suffered so much. But what an inspiration he is in the way he is now helping other victims of bullying to realize they aren’t alone. And hopefully, Quaden’s story is changing some of the hearts of those doing the bullying.
2/25/2020 UPDATE: Backlash For A Victim Of Bullying
Sadly, amidst all of the support for Quaden Bayles, only a few days later some users began to twist his story. While many rallied around him as a victim of bullying, others started attacking the 9-year-old boy, falsely accusing him of being an 18-year-old scammer.
Though numerous news outlets have confirmed the allegations against Quaden and his mother, Yarraka Bayles, as false, including Snopes, BuzzFeed, and People Magazine, among others, the false claims continue to spread like wildfire.
Things To Know About Quaden Bayles Conspiracy Theories
Here are the most common accusations fueling the controversy.
Quaden BaYles Age — 18 or 9?
Much of the debate centers around Quaden Bayles’ age. Internet trolls suggest Quaden is 18, using more “adult-like” photos as evidence, along with a picture of him at a birthday party standing next to the number 18. But Quaden Bayles is 9 years old and was born in December of 2010.
Quaden’s aunt has confirmed the photo of Quaden next to the sign was taken at the 18th birthday party for her son, Quaden’s cousin. Another photo not being used by the accusers clearly reads “Garlen’s 18th Birthday”.
Additionally, Quaden and his family have done multiple interviews over the years for raising awareness about dwarfism, all of which included his age, supporting that he is 9. For example, Yarraka and Quaden appeared on Australian Network 10’s “Studio 10” in 2015. Quaden was 4 years old at the time and a victim of bullying, suffering constant stares and comments in public because of his dwarfism.
WATCH: 4-Year-Old Quaden Bayles Standing Tall For Dwarfism Interview
Yarraka Bayles has been documenting her son’s life on her social media pages (now set to private/deleted due to all of the backlash) since he was a baby. While Yarraka and Quaden have since removed their social media presence due to the abusive comments coming in, many fake profiles have taken their place.
Quaden Bayles Net Worth
In addition to debating his age, accusers suggest Quaden and his family are “rich”. They argue that the viral video of Quaden as a victim of bullying is an attempt to scam people out of money.
The “evidence” again revolves primarily around photos taken out of context, along with an acting profile for Quaden Bayles.
As mentioned, Quaden and his family have done multiple interviews with news outlets over the years. Based on the information and videos, it certainly seems as though the acting profile came about as a result of Quaden’s efforts to raise awareness of achondroplasia dwarfism.
As for the “photographic evidence”, one shot shows Quaden wearing a designer brand sweatshirt (Gucci) and another of him holding up a fist full of cash.
Wearing an item with a designer label hardly proves someone is rich. There are plenty of knock-offs, as well as stores selling designer brands at discount prices.
Additionally, Quaden’s aunt confirmed with BuzzFeed her nephew was holding the money he worked to raise for charity — a fundraiser in Salisbury for Indigenous victims of Australia’s fires.
“He was happy with how much money he raised,” Mundanara Bayles said.
“It’s so wrong,” she went on to say of the accusations being thrown at Quaden and his mom. “If only people did one or two more clicks. It’s so draining.”
It’s also important to note that the page raising funds in response to the viral video isn’t connected to Yarraka Bayles or Quaden. U.S. comedian Brad Williams started and manages it, after expressing a desire to send the 9-year-old boy to Disneyland. Brad also stated from the start that “any excess money will be donated to anti-bullying/anti-abuse charities.” Accounts asking for direct donations and purporting to be Quaden Bayles have been proven fake.
**2/27/2020 Fundraiser Update**
As of 2/27/2020, the family declined the trip to Disneyland and requested the funds instead be donated to local charities fighting bullying and suicide. Quaden’s aunt, Mundanara Bayles, said her nephew certainly would have enjoyed the trip as an “escape to anywhere that is fun that doesn’t remind him of his day to day challenges.” However, his mother, Yarraka Bayles, wanted to “get back to the real issue” and use the money to support local organizations such as Dwarfism Awareness Australia and Balunu Healing Foundation.
Internet Responds To A Victim Of Bullying
The Quaden Bayles story shows both the positive and negative nature of our “viral” society. When a story or video goes viral, it can bring out the best in people, such as the flood of support 9-year-old Quaden initially received from strangers and celebrities all over.
But it can also bring out the worst. The viral hoax calling Quaden a scammer just goes to show how quickly lies become “truth” on the Internet, even with little to no hard evidence. And those lies often get way more attention than the actual truth.
For example, BuzzFeed points to a Youtube user, “ErbyGames”, who created a video called “Quaden Bayles Bullied Dwarf is really actor tricking you into giving him money”. It was viewed 3 million times. ErbyGames saw people sharing photos on Instagram of Quaden “in Gucci and flashing money”, which is why he made the video.
Upon learning the information was false, ErbyGames made the original video private. He also uploaded a new video apologizing and admitting Quaden is 9. And kudos to him for owning up to his mistake.
However, the updated video has only been viewed about 30,000 times — nearly 100 times less than the original.
As a victim of bullying, this attack on Quaden — a 9-year-old boy already suffering –is especially heartbreaking.
Some have argued that by posting the video, Yarraka Bayles, the boy’s mom, brought the controversy on herself. It’s easy to debate whether or not making such a private moment public was the right call or not.
Either way, Yarraka was a mother at her wit’s end, tired of watching her son get beaten down by a cruel, unforgiving world. Does anyone else ever feel that way?
She made the decision she did in that emotional moment with the hopes that showing the impact on a victim of bullying would raise awareness and help with the issue. And whether you feel that decision was right or wrong, it doesn’t excuse the cruel comments and behavior of others.
I can’t help but think of how Jesus responded in John 8 when the Pharisees brought him a woman caught in adultery. They wanted her stoned to death. And Jesus could have easily picked up the stone and told the woman she brought this all on herself.
But He didn’t. The only One worthy of throwing the first stone instead chose to show compassion.
So maybe, just maybe, in this world dominated by social media and viral news stories, we should throw fewer stones and show a whole lot more love.
And to help gets things started, here are a few examples of times the Internet got it right.
11 Times The Internet Got Kindness And Compassion Right
- Internet Responds When Woman Expecting Triplets Shows Her ‘Strange' Bump Online
- Tom Hanks' Twitter Game Of Reading & Reacting To Nice Tweets Is Restoring Faith In Humanity
- Baby Sling Tragedy Leaves Mom Inconsolable But Community Becomes Hands And Feet Of Jesus
- No One Was Coming To Her Baby Shower Until A Friend's Desperate Plea Online
- Veteran's Day Dinner Plea Goes Viral After Note From Lonely Disabled Vet Gets Shared Online
- Dying Teacher Gets Unexpected Response To Online Plea Asking For Kidney Donor
- Community Rallies To Plan A Dream Wedding For A Woman With Little Time
- Lonely Widower Looks Online For A New Fishing Partner After His Dies
- Enormous 26-lb Shelter Cat Mr. B Went Viral & This ‘Chonk' Broke The Internet Looking For A Home
- Stranger's Rally Behind Mom's Desperate Plea To Wrestling Star John Cena
- Kids Wouldn't Come To Birthday Party For Boy With Autism, So 200 Strangers Step In
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another.” John 13:34
h/t: NBC 12
Featured Image: Facebook/Yarraka Bayles