Children can often be very cruel and aggressive to their peers. Bullying affects about one in three schoolchildren in America and an estimated 160,000 children miss school daily because they afraid of being attacked and harassed.
Unfortunately the side effects go beyond missing school. The stress of bullying impacts both physical and mental health and has been linked to increased youth suicide rates.
So while the school boards and government are working on laws that will prevent bullying, some people are taking matters into their own hands.
A gang of bikers in Sydney, a city in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia decided enough was enough in the most badass way possible and helped end the torment 10-year-old Xander Rose suffered at the hands of bullies.
The Harbourside Elementary student had been subjected to years of physical bullying, racial slurs, comments about his weight, looks, clothes and even death threats. He hated attending school and always looked forward to the end of the year.
“It’s been crazy. He’s gotten jumped on the bus, clothing ripped off his back. He’s been told to go die in a hole,” his mother Katie Laybolt said.
Despite reaching out to the school board, Children's Aid Society of Breton-Victoria and other parents, Laybolt's efforts were to no avail and the bullying never ceased.
Desperate to end the cycle once and for all, the determined mother contacted a non-profit children's advocacy group called Defenders of Children who in turn got in touch with local bikers to help organize a ride in support of Xander, who is passionate about motorcycles.
Click on the next page to see how the biker groups responded to Laybolt's plea.