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A viral GoFundMe to send Quaden Bayles to Disneyland lays bare the devastation of school bullying

School bullying can take an immense psychological toll, even years later.

A viral GoFundMe to send Quaden Bayles to Disneyland lays bare the devastation of school bullying
[Photo: pan xiaozhen/Unsplash]
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A heart-wrenching story of bullying might end on a positive note with a little help from online crowdfunding and 10,000 good Samaritans.

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The internet is mobilizing to send 9-year-old Quaden Bayles to Disneyland after his mom posted a viral Facebook Live video in which he could be seen crying and saying he wants to kill himself. Bayles, who lives in Australia and is mercilessly teased over his dwarfism, says in the video, “Give me a knife.”

The video quickly got the attention of high-profile supporters, including Australian actor Hugh Jackman and American comedian Brad Williams, the latter of whom set up a GoFundMe campaign to help send Bayles to Disneyland.

Less than 36 hours later, the campaign had raised more than $209,000 from almost 10,000 supporters. Williams, who himself has dwarfism, also posted on Twitter that he was trying to get in touch with Bayles’s family.

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The story underscores the issue of school bullying and the immense psychological toll it can take. Research shows that young victims are more at risk for disorders like depression and anxiety, even years later and well into adulthood.

Bayles’s mother, Yarraka Bayles, runs a charity called Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism. According to its website, dwarfism is a group of conditions, of which there are more than 200 types.

Her original Facebook Live video has been viewed more than 19 million times.

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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