Jackson Bezzant is just like any other elementary age kid. He’s a happy-go-lucky boy who loves fishing, playing outside and hanging out with his family.
The only difference between Jackson and your average child is that he was born with a rare condition called Treacher Collins syndrome. It affects the development of bones and facial tissue.
In Jackson’s case, it means he’s nearly deaf, and he’s had to undergo surgery to rebuild his eye socket.
It’s also lead to him enduring relentless bullying from children at school – and even some adults.
Jackson’s dad Dan has witnessed this bullying time and again. He recalls walking down the street with his son and hearing a woman pass by them before saying “Did you see that little boy’s face?”
Any parent would have a hard time not stepping in when they see their child being bullied, but Dan generally managed to keep his cool and put all of his focus into keeping his son happy and grounded.
But recently, one incident at school meant that Dan just couldn’t keep quiet any longer.
Jackson was quietly eating breakfast at school when three older boys approached him. They started taunting the little boy, calling him “ugly” and a “monster”.
Eventually, a teacher’s aide saw the situation and stopped the bullying, but little Jackson had already endured a disgusting torrent of abuse before the school day had even started.
Dan heard the story and couldn’t hold back tears. Fed up of always seeing his little boy teased, taunted and humiliated, he took to Facebook to write a heartfelt post calling out the bullies.
Dan wrote: “My heart is in pieces right now and my soul feels like it’s ripping from my chest and this beautiful young man, my son Jackson, has to endure a constant barrage of derogatory comments and ignorance like I’ve never witnessed. He is called ugly and freak and monster on a daily basis by his peers at school. He talks about suicide and he’s not quite 8!
He says he has no friends and everyone hates him. Kids throw rocks at him and push him shouting these horrific words. Please please take a minute and imagine if this were your child. Take a minute to educate your children about special needs. Talk to them about compassion and love for our fellow man.
His condition is called Treacher Collins. Maybe even look it up. He’s endured horrific surgery and has several more in the coming years.
Anyway I could go on… but please educate your children.
Please share this. This shouldn’t be happening to anyone.”
The Facebook post quickly went viral, and it didn’t take long for messages of support to pour in from all over the world.
The post even helped connect Jackson to two kids living in the same area as him, both of whom have Treacher Collins syndrome. They’re now planning to meet for a playdate.
Overwhelmed by the support, Dan set up a PO box for those who’d like to send Jackson letters or cards, and the box has quickly been filling up!
It broke my heart reading Dan’s desperate Facebook plea and hearing about the torment that Jackson has suffered from other children. NO ONE should have to put up with bullying. Share Jackson’s story if you agree.