No one should ever be forced into a position where they are contemplating suicide. Especially if that person is a 7-year-old child.
Life, no matter what its form, is beautiful and special. That is why it is so tragic when bullying pressures others to into feeling hopeless enough to turn to such a final solution.
Unfortunately, we are inundated with stories about how society recognizes depression symptoms too late. Thankfully, however, one father decided to take matters into his own hands.
When his nearly 8-year-old son displayed symptoms of depression and was openly contemplating suicide, he took to the internet and made an impassioned plea to parents everywhere.
Jackson Bezzant has had to endure an incredible amount of bullying for one so young.
Idaho-resident Jackson Bezzant turns eight years old on September 28, but in his short life he has had to endure an incredibly virulent amount of bullying.
He has been called terrible names, has been shouted at and made fun of by other children, and has even had rocks thrown at him, too. Needless to say, he’s also been ostracized and isolated, as well.
“He says he has no friends,” Dan Bezzant, Jackson’s father, wrote in a Facebook post.
Having suffered so much, Jackson fell into a deep depression and openly contemplated suicide.
“Jackson has expressed those feelings before, and in the last few of months, he has said it a few times,” Bezzant, 42, said according to People. “That’s what broke me down the most. He shouldn’t have to feel that way—no one should have to feel that way just because they’re different.”
Jackson suffers from Treacher Collins syndrome — a rare disease that affects the development of bones in a person’s face.
Jackson suffers from a rare condition called, Treacher Collins Syndrome, which affects the development of bones in a person’s face. Only about 1 in 50,000 people are diagnosed with this rare condition, but those affected often go through rigorous reconstructive surgery. Jackson is no stranger to such surgeries, having undergone several already and scheduled for more in the coming year.
For the most part, Jackson’s teachers and school officials have done their best to shield the boy from some of the bullying. However, they cannot be with Jackson every day, and so, on those occasions, he has borne the brunt of his peers’ cruelty.
But one day, Bezzant heard something the kids were calling his son, and couldn’t bear it any longer.
On September 14th, he found out that kids at school had called Jackson a “monster” during breakfast.
“I just broke down sitting in my car and crying my eyes out, not knowing what to do,” Bezzant said according to People. “It was a desperate moment, and I couldn’t even go in the house. This has been going on a while, and it’s been an accumulation of things that just destroyed me—it still chokes me up.”
So, he wrote a desperate and impassioned plea on Facebook to parents and teachers — he wanted them to educate their children on the effects of bullying.
He did not mean for the post to go viral, but when it did it changed everything. Support began to come in from across the country. But not only that, Jackson was suddenly getting attention from anti-bullying organizations, too. It lifted the boy’s spirits immensely.
The post went viral, and it gave Jackson some small measure of hope that his life will finally start to get better.
“Dad, I’m famous, aren’t I?” Jackson said according to People.
Still, despite the fame, Bezzant simply hopes that his son’s experience can help educate people on the real human costs of bullying.
“I just want parents to take a lead role,” Bezzant said according to People. “They need to sit their children down and teach them we’re all created equal, and everybody is different. We need to approach this with love and understanding.”
Top image credit: (Facebook/Dan Bezzant)