Check-in with courageous Kolby to see how he's doing and remind him he's FRIEND STRONG FAMILY FOREVER! Review his story. Send your "BOOSTER SHOT OF PEER SUPPORT" to this now 8th Grader by October 16th, 2021 through our virtual portal or to:
BE A FRIEND PROJECT
P.O. BOX 30
BEACON, NY 12508
Please note this is a new address for the 2021-2020 Season!
WE DELIVERED 1,591 LETTERS of peer support to Kolby on 1/2/20!
"I am overwhelmed by the kindness you put out for me. Thank you."
KOLBY'S SURPRISE DELIVERY & SINCERE THANK-YOU TO AMBASSADORS - including an appearance by the Cornwall High School "Love Notes" and Westover Park Jr High Theater Club in Texas:
SOME OF KOLBY'S 1,591 FRIEND MAIL LETTERS - AND WRITERS:
Original 2019 Post
THIS YOUTUBE INTRODUCTION OF KOLBY is a good choice for young students!
~ By On-Air Teen Super Ambassador, Brielle Withers:
Florida 6th Grader severely bullied by peers since Pre-K
found solace in being nice to other bullied classmates!
Kolby's mom describes her 11-year-old son as a very caring, complex, deep thinker
who can also be a total goofball. Kolby is happy at home, but when it's time to go to school, the trauma of being bullied since Pre-K has made him physically sick with the anxiety and fear of on-going and unpredictable verbal and physical attacks.
BULLYING began when Kolby was just four years old. Every week, he would come home from Pre-K with bumps on his head from being pushed. One time, he was hanging upside-down on a dome jungle gym when another boy kicked him hard in the neck, scraping his skin and causing him to fall to the ground. The school removed that play feature from the playground at Kolby's mom's insistence.
In 3rd grade, bullies picked on Kolby's "buck teeth" and braces. They hit and taunted him while he stood in the lunch line. He came home with pinch marks on his stomach. His mom went to the administration and worked with them to stop the bullying. For that short respite, Kolby made a point of identifying other kids he saw being bullied and made it his empathic mission to be nice to them, like the boy with glasses they called "four eyes" and the girl they called "ugly."
Now in 6th Grade, Kolby endured months of bullying that he tried to hide because he was afraid of confrontations if he spoke up. But his mom, a nurse by trade, knew something was very wrong when most school days started with crying, stomachaches and headaches. Every morning, Kolby felt sick and begged to stay home from school. When he got to school, he often called home asking to be picked up, saying his "head hurt" or "I can't breathe." Finally overwhelmed after 3 months into a school year filled with bullying, this brave 6th Grader broke down and told his mom all about the boys that were tormenting him.
When the school year started, Kolby had thought one of the bullies was actually his friend. But, the friendship ended when Kolby stopped giving the boy his candy and snacks upon demand. Kolby is on his second round of braces and, every single day, the bullies call him names like "Beaver" and "Horse Teeth." They knock his backpack off his shoulders, kick his chair and hit him. One of the bullies tried to recruit other classmates to bully Kolby, too. Thankfully, this "Social Bullying" tactic failed, but still, Kolby has no apparent friends and no one to bring home or hang out with.
"I just want to kill myself," Kolby recently told his mom and he has expressed confusion over why he feels so angry so often now, because it's not his nature.
When the bullying was brought to the school's attention by Kolby's mom, their solution was to enact a "Do Not Contact" order, meaning the boys can not go near each other. However, this leaves a perception that Kolby is somehow also at fault for being a victim rather than giving the consequences solely to the bullies.
NO ONE DESERVES TO BE BULLIED, EVER!
Kolby's mom worked tirelessly to transfer her son to another school, but found the wait-lists to be hundreds of students long. This week, just as we announce Kolby as our new Friend Mail Recipient, he has been put in homeschool.
Despite the trauma Kolby experienced daily in school, when asked about his current goals, Kolby says he wants "to be the best student I can be" and he always strives to make the Principal's List. He loves to research things and talk or debate about it, from climate change to "shark vs crocodile... who would win?" His favorite thing to do is Gaming and he thinks being an AC Repairman would be an interesting career with a good income.
AMBASSADORS, THIS IS WHERE YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!
LET'S send an overwhelming amount of FRIEND STRONG SUPPORT as Kolby adjusts to his new REALITY AS A HOMESCHOOL STUDENT! Let's show him that there are more friends than bullies out there, that it WILL get better AND WHAT AN AWESOME KID HE IS!!