Any parent would be horrified to learn that their child has been labeled a bully.
In the case of Australian mom Sonia Buckley, that’s exactly what happened. After her son Billy was called a bully, Buckley noticed kids shunning him and not allowing him to participate in their group activities. Buckley decided to reach out to other children’s parents via Facebook and read an open letter with the hopes that Billy would be able to make friends and shirk the nasty label.
“You may think he’s a bully. He may have said some nasty things or even hurt your child, and for that I’m truly sorry,” Buckley said. “From a very young age Billy has suffered from ADHD, ODD, intellectual learning disability, and severe behavioral disorder.”
“Billy interprets everything very differently to what most people would. If Billy doesn’t understand he may react,” she continued. “People think Billy is a bully… but Billy doesn’t understand the world and the world doesn’t understand him.”
Buckley ends with a plea to parents to educate their children about disabilities. Listen to the full open letter here.
Teaching children to treat other kids with respect is essential, but it’s important to acknowledge that it’s much harder to do with behavioral disorders.
I can’t imagine what a difficult position this mom is in, so here’s hoping her letter is just the start of an important conversation in the community.