Trolls still target Quaden ‘every day’
The mother of Quaden Bayles, a nine-year-old Indigenous boy with dwarfism, says it took a viral video of his distressing reaction to bullying to get authorities to act.
Yarraka Bayles told the Disability Royal Commission on Monday she still gets abuse for the YouTube video she shared in February of Quaden.
"Still to this day, every day," she told the royal commission.
"People who think it's their business to make comment. Yes, lots of death threats, (threats of) physical harm against my children, my granddaughter."
Quaden was born with achondroplasia, a type of dwarfism and has had 11 surgeries in his short life.
He received an outpouring of global support after his mum filmed him while he was inconsolable, after being mocked by other schoolchildren about his height.
In the video, a part of which was shown to the disability royal commission on Monday, Quaden says: "I want to die right now. I want to kill myself."
Ms Bayles says in the video: "I just picked up my son up from school, witnessed a bullying episode and I want parents, educators, teachers, is this is the effect bullying has."
Ms Bayles told the commission she acted out of frustration after years of inaction on her son being called names like "midget", being pushed on the ground and being left out.
She said she met with Quaden's school and education department after the incident and they wanted to get things right.
Since then, the bullying that her son has experienced for years, stopped.
"I honestly feel like it took for a viral video for us to be able to get the support we need," she said.
"It just felt like there was not enough being done so I just stopped complaining because I felt like I was being more of a burden or, you know, they're looking at us like we're a couple of sooks and we should just get on with it and not complain or report any of these incidents."
Ms Bayles says felt at that point the school had not done enough and her sons' life was "on the line"
"They preach about anti-bullying … but it is about proper action. I want to know my child will be safe when I drop him off at school".
She says she wants to introduce a "Quaden's Law" to raise awareness of bullying and ensure children are safe.
Quaden also gave a message via a video recording to the commission: "Just don't be rude to kids that have disabilities. Be kind and be nice."
The royal commission, sitting in Brisbane for its seventh public hearing, is exploring barriers experienced by students with disability in education.
Originally published as Trolls still target Quaden 'every day'