An Idaho father’s emotional plea on Facebook has gone viral after he wrote about his special needs son who got bullied at school.
Dan Bezzant said his 7-year-old son, Jackson endured a constant barrage of bullying including children throwing rocks at him and calling him names over his appearance.
Jackson has Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare condition that affects the development of bones and other tissues of the face, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The condition is estimated to affect 1 in 50,000 people.
The young boy is nearly deaf and the condition has impacted his eyesight as well. Jackson has undergone major surgery already and will eventually need more.
Recently Bezzant found out that children at his son’s school were calling him “ugly and a “freak” during breakfast, InsideEdition reported. He got the news when his ex-wife called him to tell him about the incident.
“When I was told about it, I was just in my car sobbing in the driveway,” Bezzant told InsideEdition.
A devastated Bezzant took to Facebook on Thursday, to talk about the incident.
“My heart is in pieces right now … my soul feels like it’s ripping from my chest … this beautiful young man my son Jackson has to endure a constant barrage of derogatory comments and ignorance like I’ve never witnessed,” Bezzant wrote in a Sept. 14 post.
The father went on to describe how Jackson got bullied every day and even talked about suicide.
“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” he wrote.
The post has gone viral, garnering over 60,000 reactions and 58,378 shares as of writing on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Bezzant pleaded with parents to educate their children about special needs and to talk to them about positive values.
“Take a minute to educate your children about special needs. Talk to them about compassion and love for our fellow man … . He’s endured horrific surgery and has several more in the coming years” he wrote. “Anyway I could go on but please educate your children. Please share this.”
The father said that since writing the post he learned about two other children in East Idaho who have Treacher Collins syndrome as well and planned to meet for a playgroup and lunch soon, InsideEdition reported.
In addition, Bezzant set up a P.O. Box for people wanting to send Jackson cards.
“I am receiving constant messages of people sending love and prayers for Jackson. All I am asking is that you teach your children about bullying and making sure that kids understand that people are built differently and God loves us all,” Bezzant said. “I hope it brings awareness to the topic.”
He closed his post stating that “This shouldn’t be happening … to anyone.”