Mum reacts to ‘fake’ theory about bullied boy’s age
The mother of bullied boy Quaden Bayles has been forced to react to a cruel conspiracy theory about her son’s age.
Yarraka Bayles shared a heartbreaking video of her nine-year-old son“in hysterics” this week after he was bullied at school for having dwarfism.
In tears, Quaden can be telling his mum, “Give me a knife – I want to kill myself”, adding, “I just want to die right now”.
The emotional video quickly went viral, racking up millions of views since it was shared on Wednesday. Many were deeply moved by the Brisbane boy’s plight, with celebrities rallying around him and a fundraiser in his name reaching currently raising over $US392,000 ($A593,000) in donations.
But the huge attention has seen the heartwarming tale take a bizarre twist — with a theory emerging online that claims Quaden is actually 18-years-old and the whole story is a cash “scam”, The NY Post reports.
Multiple “fake” Instagram and GoFundMe accounts have also been created, according to posts on Ms Bayles Instagram account.
In response, Ms Bayles has shared a post on Facebook that shuts down the reports, written by a woman who said she has “known Quaden since before this s**t blew up”.
“Ima (sic) say this once and that’s that. I’ve know about Quaden since before this s**t blew up. Yes, he’s 9! Dwarfism is not a joke, is he a model or actor?
“ … so are a lot of kids … That doesn’t mean s**t!”
The post, which was also shared by the dwarfism advocacy group Ms Bayles has run since 2014, Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism, goes on to explain that no money “in the world” could change the pain that comes from living with a disability and the abuse he has suffered.
“His mother made the post because she was overwhelmed and enraged with the bullying. I understand her to the fullest …
“Never did she ask for money … That being said, another Fellow Little Person did reach out to them, which is a famous comedian. He wanted to turn Quaden’s frown upside down and created the GoFund me account to take the Australian boy to Disneyland. Now that was his doing. That came from his heart … Never did they say they were broke. Never did they ask for this.”
The writer, who lives in Denver Colorado but states in her post she also has a child with a disability, finishes saying: “I’m vouching for the kid. If ignorance blinds yall from the real issue than that’s a damm shame!”
Response to the claims has been huge, with the hashtag #QuadenBayles trending on Twitter in Australia on Saturday, receiving over 71,000 tweets.
Many of them include photos or screenshots taken from Ms Bayles and Quaden’s Instagram accounts, citing them as evidence the rumour is a “lie”.
Others called out the rumour as even more bullying, labelling those spreading it “shameful”.
The claims about Quaden’s age surfaced online yesterday, when a post was shared on Facebook describing the schoolboy as an “Instagram celeb”.
It was shared alongside photos of Quaden at an 18th birthday party, posing alongside a light-up 18 sign, claiming the captions had been changed to hide the fact the party was actually his.
While Ms Bayles is yet to comment on the claims herself, she has shared two posts on both hers and Quaden’s Instagram accounts warning followers of “fake” accounts.
Not only have NRL footy players rallied behind him but huge celebrities including Australian actor Hugh Jackman, UK TV host Piers Morgan and American comedian and actor Brad Williams, who started a GoFundMe page for the bully victim.
The wave of global support caused Quaden and his mum to share a heartwarming message with his new fans.
“If you get bullied, just stand up for yourself and don’t listen to what they say,” he said on Friday, in an interview with National Indigenous Television (NITV).
“The parents should make their kids be nice to people with disabilities.”
Later today the schoolboy will lead out the NRL’s Indigenous All Stars team at Robina Stadium as they prepare to face their annual showdown with the Maori All Stars on the Gold Coast.