Always choose to be kind.
An American sixth-grader was "flat-out" rejected by his classmates during their traditional yearbook signing. After his mother took to social media the heartbreaking moment, dozens of upperclassmen reached out to him, resulting in over 100 signatures.
In an interview with local television show Today, Cassandra Ridder said she found a tearful Brody, a 12-year-old student at The Academy of Charter Schools in Colorado, during school pickup on May 24.
“He said that he’d asked the kids in his class if they would sign his yearbook," Cassandra said, "and some flat-out said no."
Brody managed to get four signatures—two from peers, two from teachers—according to Cassandra's public Facebook post on May 25, but it "doesn't seem like it’s getting any better."
"My poor son," she wrote." So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself."
"My heart is shattered," the mother said of her son, who wrote: “Hope you make some more friends. — Brody Ridder."
She also shared the same post to their school's parents group, along with a gentle reminder: "Teach your kids kindness."
It's especially difficult for Brody, who has been a victim of bullying the entire academic year. Cassandra noted that her son cries to her "pretty much everyday," as he always get teased because "his ears stick out" and he's "extremely thin."
“He’s super intellectual and the kids in his age group have trouble relating to him,” Cassandra said, noting that her chess- and dinosaur-loving son tends to sit alone at lunch and play by himself at recess.
Following Cassandra's post, Brody just got a new lease on life, with eight graders and even 11th graders messaging him how they can sign his yearbook.
Teach your kids kindness.
“Brody's exact words to me were, ‘This is the best day ever,'" she told Today. "Some kids even put their phones for Brody to contact them."
Local outlet Fox 31 Denver KDTV reported that the students were "lining up" to sign Brody’s yearbook. Some even played rock, paper, scissors to determine who signs first.
The kids who had previously turned down Brody apparently had a change of heart and also lined up, Cassandra said.
Brody secured over 100 signatures, which included words of encouragement, advice, even phone numbers. Some of the messages he received, as shared by Today, are:
- “Hey dude, you’re freaking awesome. Stay that way."
- “Brody — you are the kindest little kid. You are so loved. Don’t listen to the kids that tell you different.”
- “Brody — I hope you have an amazing summer! You’re worth it and you matter!”
- "Hey buddy, never change, never put your head down."
While Brody is "skeptical" that he'll ever be friends with those who initially refused to sign, it "doesn't feel impossible either," Fox 31 Denver KDTV quoted him as saying.
In the meantime, he's already talking about how "excited" he is for seventh grade, according to Today.
Brody's exact words to me were, 'This is the best day ever.'
"There are good people in this world," Cassandra wrote in a follow-up Facebook post.