Parents love their children and see them as beautiful no matter what, so it can be heartbreaking when your own child is the subject of bullying. The root of the problem is usually ignorance and the way to end much of bullying, which often is aimed at those with physical or mental disorders or disabilities, is to educate.
The story of Dan and Jackson Bezzant is a prime example.
Young Jackson was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a condition in which some bones and tissues in the face aren’t fully developed. The condition can also involve hearing loss, vision loss and cleft palate. Jackson is in fact hearing impaired and has already had one surgery, the first of many likely in his lifetime.
But Jackson’s condition might be the least important thing about him. His father says he is a kind-hearted and beautiful young man.
But ignorance of the condition has led to Jackson’s terrible treatment by others.
“One time a woman walked past us, and we could hear her say, ‘Did you see that little boy’s face?’” Dan said. “If she’s saying things like that, what are her children saying?”
Jackson has been called a “monster”, his peers have thrown rocks at him and the young boy has even talked of suicide. “Jackson was eating and three older boys started picking on him,” Dan told EastIdahoNews.com. “They were saying he looked like a monster and kept calling him names. Luckily an aide caught it, but hearing this — I just broke down.”
Dan wants parents to do a better job education their kids and teaching them to appreciate all sorts of people. In the end, all Dan wants is for his son to be treated with kindness and compassion, instead of cruelty.
Dan Bezzant and his son Jackson
This is what Dan wrote:
“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. 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. Take a minute to educate your children about special needs. Talk to them about compassion and love for our fellow man. His condition is called Treacher Collins. Maybe even look it up. He’s endured horrific surgery and has several more in the coming years. Anyway…I could go on…but please educate your children.”
The post went viral and has over 120,000 likes. Words of support and love have poured in from tens of thousands of people. Add yours here or share the story!
My heart is in pieces right now…my soul feels like it's ripping from my chest…this beautiful young man my son…
Jackson’s father Dan Bezzant said anyone who wants to send Jackson a card is welcome to — address them to P.O. Box 1563 Idaho Falls, ID 83403.