Brian Birchall, a 12-year-old boy from Australia, tried to kill himself twice in the same month because he was cruelly bullied!
The boy was bullied over the fact that he has red hair. He had to change seven different schools over a period of seven years. After that, Brian stopped going to school altogether because he couldn’t face the bullies anymore. Patrina Benton, Brian’s mother, has decided to keep him at home so he can avoid the bullies as much as possible.
And to let out his anger, Brian started harming himself. “I hit myself in the head because I really want to fight these kids because I’m absolutely fed up with them… it’s gotten too much,” he said.
Brian first attempted suicide in early March. He then attempted again at the end of the same month.
Brian’s mother spoke to Lisa Wilkinson on The Project on Sunday night and said, “If I am breaking the law by keeping my son safe, come and charge me, lock me up.”
The mother wishes things were different so he could live a normal school life as well. She said, “He doesn’t have to be school captain, he just has to be at school.”
Patrina continued, “There’s nowhere else for us to go… you have to sit back and watch your kid hurt themselves because you can’t find them the help. Where do you go?”
And this is not the first time Brian got bullied. Five years back, he got bullied for a bowel disease due to which he had to wear a tube in his stomach. Later on, the concentration of the bullies shifted to his red hair.
Talking about the reasons for his bullying, Brian answered,“It started with my red hair… then there were names, then it turned into fights and then it would just get worse and worse and worse.”
The family has now started a campaign against bullying. It is called ‘Fight the Good Fight‘. The campaign attracted many celebrities including Ed Sheeran.
Other than this, Murray Benton, Brian’s brother, also shared his sibling’s story. His post went viral and has now been shared over 90,000 times on social media. Murray shared a picture of his brother from the hospital, explaining the whole situation:
“After much deliberation with my family over the last couple of days and with the strength and consent from my little brother we have decided to put this post up with firstly the intention to spread some much-needed awareness of bullying in our schools and also to express my honest disgust in both Gympie State High School and also our general public health system..”
Benton explained, “For months now this little guy has been bullied at school, he has been pushed around, been called names, been involved in both groups and one on one fights, been made the laughing stock in front of his peers and the list goes on.”
“Due to this constant harassment and negative engagement, this has not only affected him greatly but has also had a negative impact on our family unit and how we operate on a daily bases.”
“My brother has been pushed to the point where he would rather turn to self-harm appose to returning to school.”
After the incident, the school gave a public statement saying that their students’ safety is their number one priority. “We have a zero-tolerance policy on bullying, violence and other forms of harassment,” they said.
However, Brian’s brother seems to think that the school is just giving out statements for ‘damage control’ and that they won’t actually take actions to protect the children.
“I truly believe from our experience, Gympie State High School has done nothing to support or protect their students and families against repetitive bullying,” she stated.