❤️ From Dylan's Dad, Brian...
A heartwarming thank-you video from Dylan and his family says it all - and get a peek inside the Surprise Friend Mail Presentation at Dylan's Dance School in Minnesota!
3rd Grader Dylan was targeted and brutally assaulted by his school bully because he studies and enjoys Ballet and Tap. The male dance community, peers and professionals, celebrity actors and Dancers STOOD UP to support and inspire this brave, young dancer. The 16-minute compilation of the videos-of-support they sent was used to kick-off the surprise to Dylan, and it is a must-watch for all boys who dance and their peers to WITNESS the unity, strength, courage and talent! #boysdancetoo!
Pictures from the SURPRISE "YOU GOT FRIEND MAIL" day!
Best News Ever! Dylan has quickly joined the BAFP as an Official Ambassador, along with his older sisters, Chloe and Callie, and sent along gifts and Friend Mail letters of support after inspiring his 3rd Grade teacher, Ms. Turpin, to participate with his whole class!! Thank you, Dylan and family! You are FRIEND STRONG FOREVER!
~ Dylan's Story ~
3rd Grade sports fan (9) brutally attacked by school bully for his love of dance.
Dylan is "energetic, friendly and boisterous," says his dad. The 3rd Grader from Minnesota loves Pokemon cards and until recently, his favorite animal was a pet tortoise at school. Dylan wants to be a gardener or landscaper when he grows up, and he's already put his 'green thumb' to good use by growing fresh basil to feed the class tortoise. The athletic 9-year-old loves to watch sports, especially his favorite state teams, the Vikings and the Twins, and he likes to play them, too... but recently his bully excluded him from playing in a schoolyard football game because he is also enjoys training in classical and modern dancing like Ballet and Tap.
What a joy, this kind and "boisterous" boy! ❤️😍
On what Dylan calls "the worst day of my life," he was hit from behind at school and remembers nothing until he woke up to see a pool of his own blood on the floor in front of him. A 3rd Grade classmate who routinely bullies Dylan for his love of dance and, astoundingly, for not being a regular church-goer who will "burn in hell" among other threats, had beaten him unconscious. No one knows exactly what happened as there were no cameras in the school hallway, but doctors saw multiple points of impact on his head and face. The bruising was so bad, the Emergency Physicians worked him up for possible cranial and jaw fractures and ultimately diagnosed him with a concussion. Dylan still might need plastic surgery on his mouth. The 9-year-old does not like to talk about that day as PTSD from the traumatic attack makes him too upset.
In the past, courageous Dylan had tried to befriend his bully. His dad thinks his motivation was to protect himself and others. For example, Dylan would sit with the bully on the school bus to protect his sisters from being tripped on purpose as they walked down the aisle. After the vicious hallway attack, Dylan's parents made the decision to remove all three of their children from the school and enroll them in an entirely new, neighboring district. Dylan misses the class tortoise, but still has loving company in his yellow lab named "Goldy."
This YOUTUBE INTRODUCTION OF Dylan by our On-Air Teen Ambassador, Brielle Withers, is a good choice for young students to learn his story:
See the inspirational full PSA on Facebook created by the James Sewell Ballet in support of Dylan by clicking on the picture!
Dylan is getting support from his new school classmates and administration, his dance team mates and even pro-athletes, Byron Buxton of the Twins and the Dancers of James Sewell Ballet who issued a PSA Video in support of Dylan and a statement that resounds with all of us here at the BAFP, a non-profit organization inspired by middle school, musical theater kids...
"JSB and all dance organizations know the gravity of boys and men in dance who suffer from bullying, simply because they do what they love and what makes them happy."
Like for all childhood victims of bullying, recovering from the emotional and physical trauma is hard work and for some, it is a process that continues through a lifetime. Having the peer support of kids and teens nationwide will contribute to making a difference!
AMBASSADORS..... LET'S MAKE DYLAN'S VALENTINE'S DAY ONE HE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER! HAVING THE SUPPORT OF KIDS AND TEENS NATIONWIDE will show this 3rd Grader there are more friends than bullies in the world, AND THAT HE MATTERS. Your kindness, inspiration and admiration are just what he needs to feel confident and hopeful again - and get back to dancing!
"CHANGE ONE LIFE AND YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. IT'S IN YOUR HANDS!"
THE DUE DATE FOR DYLAN'S "FRIEND MAIL" IS FEBRUARY 8TH!
Friend Mail must arrive in our NY office for review by the Due Date to be included in the main surprise VALENTINE'S DELIVERY!
Mail "PHYSICAL" letters to:
Be A Friend Project
P.O. Box 30
Beacon, NY 12508
Email letters, videos, scans & Google Drive links, send to: