It’s no secret that bullying is an epidemic no matter where you go in the world. A lot of bullying even happened before there were words for the type of bullying children were undergoing. In fact, bullying is so common that it’s not only limited to kids.
Even adults face bullying when someone becomes frustrated and decides to take that frustration out on someone else. Some adults never seem to grow out of it either, taking pleasure in tormenting those around them. However, on dad decided that he’d had enough. He zipped up his jacket with a smile and stepped outside.
Joey Mason was a happy child even though he was one of the regular targets for the local bullies. One day while he was playing with his ball in the park, a group of teenagers arrived and things were about to change.
Sadly, no one really knows how to deal with bullies. That’s why the problem persists. Schoolyard bullies are hard enough to deal with but these boys weren’t at school when things happened. However, someone had to do something.
Being a shy fourth grader, Joey Mason loved playing with his pets, a dog and a cat. He lived near a community park in Toronto, Canada, and enjoyed being able to play outdoors. It was the highlight of his day.
However, one afternoon his regular after school fun in the park was about to turn into a nightmare for the young boy. That was the day when the teenagers arrived. Everyone who saw them could tell that they were up to no good.
“My name is Joey and I’m 10 years old. I am a victim of bullying. It hurts me very much. Please, stop bullying,” Joey posted on his social media. Many people read and commented on his post though there was one person who hadn’t.
As is often the case with bullied children, those closest to Joey had no idea what was going on. His father hadn’t seen the message and sadly had no idea what was happening to his son. However, that would soon change.
Parents only want the best for their children, and when they are in pain or unhappy it is natural for a parent to become worried. The same goes for Joey’s father, of course. Even though he hadn’t seen Joey’s post, he knew something was wrong.
He started to notice signs that something was troubling Joey and it made him very worried. What was going on? However, like many children, when his father asked him what was going on, Joey simply clammed up.
It wasn’t long after Joey started attending his new school that his dad noticed something begin to change in Joey. The change was sudden and clear. Joey had gone from being a normal happy child to being an emotional mess.
This was a big and worrying change. What could have made his happy boy change like that? Was it something to do with his school, his teachers, or maybe his classmates? Joey’s dad had no idea, but he was determined to find out.
He watched as Joey came home from school each day crying, clearly upset by something, but Joey wouldn’t tell him what it was. He wasn’t sure about it, but he began to suspect that Joey was being bullied.
However, he wasn’t prepared for what he discovered when he finally got to the bottom of what had been happening. He decided that the solution would require him to be somewhat devious and underhanded, but he would do anything for his precious child.
He could no longer stand by and watch as Joey became more and more distraught as the days went by. His son didn’t deserve that and he was determined to set things right. He just needed a plan.
After a lot of thinking a plan began to form. Slowly at first, the plan began to take shape. He knew he needed to help Joey, and soon he had the perfect plan in place. All that remained was to find the right opportunity.
After plenty of consideration and speculation, Joey’s dad came to the conclusion that one of his classmates, or perhaps even a teacher, was bullying him. He knew that the problem lay outside the home as they had a very happy home life.
So the problem was external. However, he still needed to know the truth about what was going on. Eventually, he decided that he would follow his son secretly and observe what was going on. When he followed his son to the park after school, he finally understood.
As his father secretly watched from a distance, Joey played in the park with his ball, seemingly happy and content. However, as he watched, Joey’s father saw a group of teenagers approaching. Are these some of Joey’s friends? he wondered.
However, as he watched he could see the terror on Joey’s face and realized that they were responsible for the change in his son. That’s when he saw the torment these boys were putting his son through and he finally understood.
For some reason, a group of teens had recently turned their eyes to Joey that spring. For weeks, it seemed that every time and everywhere Joey went before and after school, they were there to bully him.
But Joey was a tough kid and didn’t let the name-calling get to him. That was, until one day, the bullying took a scary turn. Today, it wouldn’t just be name-calling or pointing…
Joey was an innocent boy who was not troubling anyone, so why was he always attacked and bullied by these teenagers? To the other people present there, it would appear as though they knew Joey as they directly approached him.
Things were about to get ugly, and Joey was in trouble, but the commotion the teenagers made drew the attention of someone else. Would they be the one to help poor Joey?
At school, Joey couldn’t defend himself. Most kids would be afraid to step up, and sometimes teachers were oblivious to this problem, thinking they’re just being “kids” and all just fooling around.
And now, the nasty teens had him cornered. Joey was terrified. These boys always harassing him and no one ever helps him out. But someone at the park sees what’s happening!
The teenage boys were having some fun, stealing Joey’s ball and not giving it back. But we all know that things can escalate pretty fast if nobody intervenes. From afar, seeing the older boys passing Joey’s ball to each other didn’t seem wrong.
To onlookers, it probably looked like they knew him because they went directly to him. But their demeanor, though friendly on the surface, hid some dark undertones that would soon reveal the teens’ true nature.
“Hey kid,” one of the teens said. “Nice ball you got there. Can I see it?” But before Joey could react, the teen kicked the ball away from him. “It’s mine!” he protested, to no avail. “Come on, just give it to me, man. It’s just a ball,” the teen continued.
The boys continued to harass and cajole Joey as they kept teasing him with his ball. The ringleader stood and laughed in a twisted pleasure as they tortured Joey with seeming impunity. Little did he know, he was being watched.
While the interaction between the teens and Joey was occurring, a man was taking notice. He was hidden just out of sight. But as the teasing escalated, he turned his attention toward the four boys.
At one point, the older teen kicked the ball away to the other side of the footpath. That’s when the man decided to act. And the mean boys had no idea that he was Joey’s dad.
“Gentlemen, what exactly do you think you are you doing?” asked Joey’s dad, in an extremely scolding tone.
Joey was trying to get his ball back, and then the teenagers were left speechless for a few seconds, not knowing what to say. But then, they grew emboldened. They tried to fleece him.
The teenagers innocently said: “Just playing ball, sir,” hoping they would fool the dad and be left alone. But this guy wasn’t buying it.
The man’s next words are more than we would ever want to hear in this situation if we were Joey…
“Why are you picking on a little kid?” asked the man. The boys didn’t answer. “Don’t you think your parents would love this? You guys getting arrested for picking on a little kid?” he added.
One of the teens said “No,” and then the man turned to the other teenagers, asking some more questions.
“Why didn’t you guys stop him? You guys wanna be part of this?” – asked the man, angry that he was a witness to this, but glad to be there and help out his son. He turned to Joey and asked him if he was ok, giving back his ball.
Then, he turned to the teenagers and told them to find another place and leave the kid alone. But this story is far from being over, and you’ll see why…
A few days after the incident, Joey’s dad decided to walk his son to school. But this time, the father-and-son team had an ace up their sleeve.
He made sure to walk by the spot where the bullies waited for Joey every morning. He was ready to serve them sweet, sweet justice. He wanted to make sure they never picked on anyone again.
Joey walked ahead while his dad hung back. And, sure enough, the teens were loitering on their usual street corner. They recognized Joey immediately, and then the namecalling began.
But this time, Joey’s dad was ready. He strode up and shouted “Hey!” to get their attention. Then, he smiled as he unzipped his coat.
The teens’ jaws fell as they saw the white uniform, then they began to scrabble. “I thought so!” Joey’s dad yelled as they ran away. Tightening his black belt, he grinned, satisfied.
He’d found his old Judo uniform and hidden it under his coat to give the bullies the fright of their lives!
Many celebrities have spoken up and supported people like Joey. Bullying is not something we want to see, no matter what! So that’s why many people have started to speak up about this issue.
Here’s what our story has in common with Anti Bullying movements…
In December of 2017, a video went viral in which a young boy named Keaton Jones tearfully talked about being bullied. The video elicited countless reactions and sparked a national conversation about bullying.
These events inspired Bandeira too, who decided to conduct his own social experiment on the issue of bullying.
Plenty of public figures turned out on Twitter to show their support for Keaton. Out of all the attention Keaton got for the video, nothing was as heartwarming as the response from celebrities.
Chris Evans, known for his role as Captain America, put his massive heart on display for Keaton and his family. Chris felt for Keaton, urging that he “stay strong,” and even offering Keaton an invite to the new Avengers movie premiere next year. He wasn’t the only one to support Jones, either.
Would you stand up for someone that was being bullied? Would you have done the same or let the kid handle the situation by himself?
We think bullying is wrong and it shouldn’t ever happen, no matter the age, the reason, or the medium. It makes others feel bad about themselves and it also negatively influences people’s lives!
What this story has taught us all is that bullying is wrong, and the right reaction is to use logic and make the bullies ask themselves what would they do if they were the ones bullied.
Acknowledging this is one step closer to making bullying history in our society.
With the emergence of social media, online bullying has tremendously increased.
And it made many students that were bullied, not just in real life but also online, even consider self-harm!
We can all save a life by being kind to people and by stepping up when we see them being harassed.
And always remember, don’t do unto others what you wouldn’t want done to yourself — this applies to bullying as well!