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paul rudd, ant-man, bullied teen

Paul Rudd in 2016.

Passing around your yearbook to have it signed by friends, teachers and classmates is a fun rite of passage for kids in junior high and high school. But, according to KDVR, for Brody Ridder, a bullied sixth grader at The Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado, it was just another day of putting up with rejection.

Poor Brody was only able to get four signatures in his yearbook, two from what appeared to be teachers and one from himself that said, “Hope you make some more friends."

Brody’s mom, Cassandra Ridder has been devastated by the bullying her son has faced over the past two years. "There [are] kids that have pushed him and called him names," she told The Washington Post. It has to be terrible to have your child be bullied and there is nothing you can do.

She posted about the incident on Facebook.

“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook,” she posted on Facebook. “Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it. So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”


Parents saw the post and told their kids the heartbreaking story. So a group of kind upperclassmen at the school stood up for Brody by tracking him down and signing his yearbook.

“We walked in and we were like where’s Brody at? Is Brody Ridder in here? And they’re like yeah he’s in the back and we’re like Brody! We’re here to sign your yearbook bud,” Simone Lightfoot told KDVR. In a quick reversal of fortune, Brody had a line around him to sign his book and he received more than 100 signatures.

While students rallied around Brody at school, the story and Facebook post went viral, attracting the attention of one of the most beloved guys in Hollywood, “Ant-Man” star, Paul Rudd.

After Rudd heard Brody’s story he called him on the phone.

"I heard about you and I’m like, 'I gotta talk to this kid, because this kid sounds like my kinda guy,'" he said in a recording posted to Facebook by Cassandra. "He likes chess, he likes fencing, he likes dinosaurs. Am I right?”

Rudd also sent him a letter that read:

“It’s important to remember that even when life is tough that things get better. There are so many people that love you and think you’re the coolest kid there is — me being one of them! I can’t wait to see all the amazing things you’re going to accomplish.”

He also sent a gift, an Ant-Man helmet for when Brody decides to take on “the WORLD!”

Rudd’s gesture was a wonderful example of someone using their celebrity to uplift others. It’s no wonder that Stephen Colbert once called him “the nicest person on the planet.”

The outpouring of support from his classmates and people from around the world was encouraging for both mother and son.

“It just made me feel better as a person. I don’t know how to explain it. It just makes me feel better on the inside,” he told KDVR.

“It made me feel like there’s hope for the school, there’s hope for humanity and there’s a lot of good kids in this world,” his mother added.

If you would like to send Brody a letter, mail it to:

Brody Ridder

PO Box 99

Henderson, CO 80640

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

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