Three-year-old Noah Gilbert is just like any other little boy; he likes to play with his brothers and sisters, as well as his friends at school. Recently, though, Noah was bullied because of something he can do nothing about, his red hair. You see, unlike his blonde-headed brothers and sisters, Noah is what some refer to as a ginger, and not in the best possible way.
His reaction to his bullying has left his mom, Lauren Russell, saddened and heartbroken.
Bullied While on the Bus
Noah lives with his mother and three siblings in Southampton, U.K. It was while boarding a bus that the mother heard some nearby teens saying hurtful comments about her son’s red hair. And even though he is only three, Russell said the words did have an impact upon her son.
It appalled her that the teens, one who looked no older than 13 would say such things as, “I would hate my child to be ginger, I would kill it” and “All kids with ginger hair should go straight to social services.”
A Heartbreaking Effect
Upon reaching home, Noah asked his mother if she could change his hair for him to be more like his siblings. He even asked his older brother, Charlie, why he had such horrible hair. Charlie’s simple reply back was touching, as he told Noah his hair wasn’t horrible at all, but was beautiful. For her part, his mother was heartbroken for Noah, as he kept asking her why people don’t like his hair.
Posting About the Bullying on Social Media
Russell posted about the experience on her Facebook account with a lengthy post:
“Today my heart broke in two. Whilst travelling on a public bus number 12 I witnessed such cruel behaviour towards my 3 year old son from a very narrow minded boy who couldn’t be much older than 13. Unfortunately this hasn’t been the first time and I know it won’t be the last.
“He’s been targeted by people of all ages. And what for? Because he has ginger hair. My beautiful boy was told social services should have taken him away because his hair color is disgusting. The boy then turned to his friend and said if he ever had a ginger child he would kill it. Now my little boy is only 3 and was left very confused.
The Post Goes Viral
The post went viral with many commenters posting pictures of their own red-headed children. Since sharing her post on Facebook, the mother says she has gotten hundreds of messages showing support for the plight of her innocent son and how handsome he actually was. Noah, for his part, was all smiles upon hearing the positive feedback.
Signs That Your Child is Being Bullied
The hardest part about preventing the bullying of your child is determining if they are being bullied in the first place. Some warning signs include:
- Torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing
- Unexplained cuts and bruises
- Afraid of going to school or riding the school bus
- Begins to do poorly in school
- Loss of appetite
How to Stop Bullying
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Once you have determined that your child is being bullied, you need to put a stop to it and arm them with the skills they need to stop it in the future. The most important thing you can do for a bullied child is to support them and let them know they are loved. You should also make sure to take action about their bullying, including approaching the bullies parents or school officials about the bullies behavior.
You should also help your kid understand that telling an adult about bullying behavior is okay. Bullies thrive on the fear they create when they can isolate a potential victim. Taking away that fear factor is an important first step in stopping the bullying.
Finally, as a parent, you should respond to the bullying behavior promptly to prevent long lasting damage to the psyche of your child. It is up to us as parents to protect our children, especially when they are young. One way we can do this is by speaking out against bullying and letting them know that it has no place in society.