A Long Island, New York, mother is saying her son Liam developed an eating disorder after he was bullied, WPIX reported.
Liam, 13, was a straight-A student and was happy and outgoing before the bullying, mom Deirdre O’Brien told the station. When he started playing for a local soccer team, that’s when the bullying started.
The bullying got so bad that he was hospitalized with an eating disorder, she said.
“I said you have to tell me. I know something is wrong,” O’Brien told WPIX. “He said he was bullied all year and that he had a horrible seventh grade.”
“My beautiful son Liam turned 13 years old on September 8,” she wrote, NBC reported. “He should be in school with his friends getting excited about high school and playing soccer, but he is not. He is at a medical center in Princeton NJ being treated for depression and an eating disorder.”
When he started eighth grade, he got beat down in the locker room by bullies. He was sent back to the hospital.
“These particular kids said your life is a waste, why don’t you just go kill yourself,” Keith O’Brien, Liam’s father, told WPIX. “How does a 12-year-old say that to another 12-year-old?”
After Garden City Middle School investigated her son’s case, they called it “unfounded,” NBC said.
On Friday, she told the NBC affiliate: “He was bullied all year he said he was told that he sucked st soccer, didn’t deserve to make the team. He said, ‘Every day mom, every day.’ It just broke him.”
“I was told Liam’s perception may have been different from reality,” she wrote in a Facebook post about what the school told her. “They just couldn’t find evidence that this happened. I have a picture of a bruise on his face, they said staff said he didn’t exhibit behavior that would suggest something just happened to him.”
O’Brien later told NBC: “It hurts, it’s almost like they are saying we don’t believe you or perhaps the perception of what your child felt wasn’t really real.”
The school district later issued a response on the boy’s case.
“We want to be on top of this, we don’t want to lose any child. Even one case is one too many,” noted superintendent Alan Groveman.
WPIX reported that the family got a surprise visit from the varsity soccer team at Garden City High School to support Liam.
— UAB (@UAB_SafeFleet) September 11, 2017
“It hit all of us deeply,” Luke Connolly, who is a high school soccer player, told the station. “We want Liam to come back and be on this team.”
(H/T – Dearly)