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bullying

Yarraka Bayles/Facebook

Bullies will be bullies, but a little kindness still goes a long way.

If you want to see “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” this past weekend, you might have noticed a familiar face. No, not Anya Taylor-Joy or Chris Hemsworth. We’re talking about Quaden Bayles.

Quaden went viral a few years ago after his mom, Yarraka Bayles, posted a gut wrenching video showing how her young son was crying in anguish and begging for a rope to end his life—all due to being bullied for his dwarfism. Her hope was that it might educate others about cruelty and discrimination.

Millions of hearts broke for Quaden worldwide, and he received a huge amount of support, including from celebrities like Hugh Jackman, Mark Hamill and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.


George Miller, director of “Furiosa” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” would later offer Quaden an extra role in his film “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” released back in 2022. That would be Quaden's first taste of fun costumes and red carpet movie premieres…but certainly not his last.

Cut to May 23rd, 2024, and Quaden plays a badass war boy on “Furiosa,” and has been getting high praise for his work on it.

“I loved his role in the move. He made it more enjoyable,” one fan wrote.

Another added, “was a brilliant film…he was great.”

Yarraka shared a photo of her son smiling next to Taylor-Joy on set and in full makeup. What an amazing 180.

“I always say that the best revenge is success and now you dear Quaden are proving this to be true.Where are those bullies now? Watching you in the cinema and hopefully regretting their actions. Go you Quaden! You are a superstar buddy,” one person commented on Facebook.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have bullies. But, sadly, we do. As we can see here though, people have the collective power to help turn someone’s life around. When someone is being treated unfairly, all it might take is one gesture of compassion to start a chain reaction that helps that person heal and feel a little less alone. It’s nice to be reminded that compassion is just as contagious as cruelty.

Family

Father takes daughter's bullying victim on a shopping trip to teach her a lesson

When Randy Smalls of South Carolina discovered that his teenage daughter was making fun of a classmate over her clothes and makeup, he took swift action.

Randy Smalls of South Carolina

Bullying is a huge problem. According to DoSomething.org, 1 in 5 students ages 12-18 in the United States are bullied during the school year, and approximately 160,000 teens have skipped school because of bullying.

So when Randy Smalls of South Carolina discovered that his teenage daughter was making fun of a classmate over her clothes and makeup, he took swift action.

Smalls instantly felt sympathy for Ryan Reese, a seventh-grader at Berkeley Middle School, having been bullied in his youth. So he took money meant for his daughter and went on a shopping spree with Ryan to get some new clothes and a makeover.


Smalls' wife and Ryan's mother Richauna Reese are friends, but they weren't aware of the bullying until recently. The families got on the phone after speaking to Ryan, and Smalls asked if he could take Ryan to buy new clothes and get a makeover at the beauty salon.

Smalls used money initially intended to buy his 13-year-old daughter some new clothes, but after learning about her bullying, he decided to spend the money on Ryan instead.

"I say, 'When you laugh along, you're co-signing the bullying," Smalls told Yahoo News.

"My daughter was upset, especially because she is into fashion," he said. "So she came with us and helped pick out Ryan's new clothes."

While his daughter was at church, Smalls took Ryan to the beauty salon and paid for twice-a-month appointments until the end of the year.

After hearing about the good gesture, local salons have also offered to keep Ryan looking stylish for the next few months.

Richauna, Ryan's mother, told Yahoo News that her daughter was struggling after the recent deaths of her father, grandfather, and aunt, as well as non-epileptic seizures caused by the stress.

The shopping trip has helped Ryan immensely. "I wasn't expecting it. I just started to cry. It (the bullying) was really sad for me because I had lost my grandpa, father, and aunt, and it really took me deep down in my depression," Ryan explained.

"This is the first time I have seen a parent take such a stance on bullying," Richauna added.

Smalls was overwhelmed by the response and says that it's helped his daughter see her mistake.

"I didn't expect for this to get big but I'm glad if other parents [can learn from it]," Smalls said. "My daughter learned her lesson."

"As parents, we have to take responsibility for what our children do," Smalls told ABC's Strahan, Sara, and Keke. "We can teach our children, but when they go and are around other children they can veer off a little bit. When situations like this happen, we have to take action and be the parent and not the friend."

And the pair seem to be getting along better for the experience. "They're cool now," Richauna said.

Watch to young girls break down the story in this adorable YouTube video:

This article originally appeared on 12.4.19

Family

Teacher goes viral after sharing signs of 'subtle bullying' she sees in her classroom

These behaviors might be harder to spot, but just as important to stop in their tracks.

@stillateacher/TikTok

Whetehr subtle or over, bullying cannot be tolerated

When we think of bullying, we might first picture wedgies, dunking heads in toilets, stuffing folks in lockers…the kind of stuff you’d see in virtually every kid’s movie in the 90s.

But in real life, bullying can be much more insidious.

Ms. C, a teacher who previously went viral for sharing the high school cliques that have endured the test of time, recently coined a term for this type of behavior, which she called “subtle bullying,” and explained what it might look like in a classroom.

“Here's what it looks like, a student that is less popular, maybe has a disability, will be talking and a kid who is a bully will be looking at all of his friends across the room and snickering and making little faces,” she says in the video.


“I will lose it if I see that,” she continues, saying that while she is “chill” with a lot of things, like cursing, eating in class, student’s addressing her by her first name, even sass to a certain degree, this is her “number one” behavior that will not be tolerated.

To address the issue, Ms. C usually stands “directly by the bully's desk and stares them in the eyes the whole time that other student is talking.” Or she’ll throw them out of the room. The only other time she might do that is if there’s a safety threat. And it seems clear that in her opinion, subtle bullying is a safety threat.

“If you are a teacher and you are not fiercely protecting your most vulnerable students, what are you doing?” she concludes.

@stillateacher basically we’re gonna learn and respect each other #teacher #teachertok #teachersoftiktok #highschoolteacher #teacherlife ♬ original sound - Ms. C

Subtle bullying, according to Ms C, also includes “racism, sexism, homophobia,” which warrants “an intense one-on-one conversation” that hopefully resolves the issue. But if it doesn’t, she gets others involved until the student recognizes the comment was “unacceptable.”

Ms C’s video got a lot of comments from fellow teachers confirming how common this type of bullying is, or anecdotes from folks who were on the receiving end of it.

“The subtle bullying is such an issue. I saw it so much when I subbed,” one person wrote.

Another added, “I’m so glad you can actually spot subtle bullying like that. My teachers would actively tell me it wasn’t happening when I’d try to talk to them about it.”

“Subtle bullying is so bad! We did karaoke in class and had to stop because of popular bullies 'encouraging' and recording,'' one person shared, while another wrote, “Subtle bullying for seven years took me most of a decade to get over. Ruins your self confidence. You are changing lives!”

Subtle bullying might be harder to spot, but it’s every bit as damaging as physical violence or name-calling, and therefore every bit as important to address. In a follow-up video, Ms C. offers a helpful tip for teachers when it comes to spotting this type of behavior.

She suggests giving students a survey where they answer if there’s anyone one they’d rather not sit by (tell them it is completely confidential). If there is a student who has been bullying others, their name will come up repeatedly. Obviously it’s not a foolproof perfect strategy, but it’s a starting point.

The one constant in bullying, whether it’s subtle or overt, is that it’s not acceptable. And it’s the responsibility of the adults in a child’s life—parents, faulty, teachers—to make sure that it doesn’t become a habit that carries over into adulthood.

via Dayna Motycka/TikTok and eBay

The Stanley Quencher is all the rage.

Kids learn about status symbols at a very young age. It seems that every generation, a new group of tweens has something that helps define the social pecking order at school, whether it’s having the right brand of Rollerblades in the ‘90s, Ugg boots in the 2000s, or the newest iPhone in the 2010s.

In 2024, the hip thing with the tween set is having a brand-name water bottle to bring to school, specifically a Stanley.

Historically, a Stanley was a blue-collar tumbler you’d bring to a construction site. But now, in a world where people are obsessed with hydration, the $45 bottle is all the rage amongst tweens and teens.


Dayna Motycka, the Ohio mother of a 9-year-old, shared a first-hand glimpse into the name-brand water bottle craze after her daughter was bullied for bringing a $10 Wamart tumbler to school. After returning to school from the holidays, 9 girls in her class got Stanley Tumblers.

@dayna_motycka

I in fact did not keep it short and sweet 🤦🏼‍♀️ apparently needed to get this off my chest! 🤷‍♀️ #stanleycups #valentinestanley #targetstanley #parentsteachingkids #parentingtips101

“And they made sure to let her know that this is not a real Stanley, that this is fake, and it’s not as cool,” Motycka said, pointing to her daughter’s cup.

In a video with over 3.4 million views, Motycka says she could have given her daughter an expensive tumbler but didn’t think it was necessary.

“Can we afford to buy her a Stanley? Yes. Did I think that she needed one? No,” she said. “Apparently, I’ve been proven wrong by the children in our school who are making fun of her for not having a real name-brand Stanley.”

The mother went to a local hardware store and bought her a Stanley for $35. She also noted that she owns one herself.

The mother believes this sort of bullying starts at home with the parents. “This doesn’t start with the kids. This starts with us, with parents, with moms. What are we teaching our kids?” she asked. Motycka says that if her daughter bullied someone for their water bottle, she would be in serious trouble.

“You’d better believe that if our nine-year-old daughter came home and, somehow, we found out that she had made fun of another girl at school for not having something name-brand… we would be calling the family, we would be making her write a note to apologize, we would make her apologize in person because that’s not what we do in this household,” she said.

The video makes an interesting point because, on one hand, the mother is judging other parents for raising kids who would be so petty as to bully another kid for their water bottle. On the other hand, after the girl was bullied, she bought her a Stanley water bottle to fit in with the kids who bullied her. She also owns one of the bottles herself.

Is the mother sending mixed messages, or does it all make sense?

"So basically, do as I say not as I do??? This has to be satire. The only explanation for making this video," an anonymous user commented on the video. “I'm not on board with her message about changing and not actually being the change she speaks of. Otherwise, I would agree with her 100%,” another user wrote.

One mom has taught her boys how to handle this type of bullying.

“My boys have followed my example. So they respond with things like ‘Well, at least I have the thing that I like instead of the thing everyone else likes,’” Kiki Rodriguez wrote.

In the end, Motycka admitted that teaching your kids confidence while shielding them from pain is hard.

"I feel this..but we should also teach our kids to be leaders with more confidence in themselves and their choices. Not being crowd followers," Aim wrote. "I agree with you! It’s just such a tough line," Motycka responded.