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8-Year-Old Boy: Dear Santa, Can You Make Them Stop Bullying My Sister?

8-Year-Old Boy: Dear Santa, Can You Make Them Stop Bullying My Sister?

When I was a child, September meant two things: the start of school and writing my letter to Santa Claus. As my mother explained, I had to write it early because the letter had to travel all the way to the North Pole and the elves would need time to gather everything.

As the mom of a 5-year-old, I now know it was all about creating the Christmas budget.

This was the case when Karen Suffern from North Carolina asked her 8-year-old twins to write down what they wanted for Christmas. The single mom wanted to do her best to grant some of their wishes, which she expected would now include more expensive items.

The fraternal twins, Ryan and Amber, had just started third grade a few weeks earlier and were in the same class for the first time. Ryan witnessed his sister being tormented by bullies because of her weight and being multiracial.

This broke his heart.

So when the 8-year-old sat down to write his letter to Santa, he thought about what he really wanted and then wrote this:

“Dear Santa,

I wanted a remot contor car and helieopter, but I don’t want that anymor. Kid at school are still picking on Amber and its not fair because she doesn’t do anything to them and it makes me mad. I prayed that they will stop but god is bisy and needs your help. Is it against the rules to give gift early?” [all sic]

This was not the request his mom was expecting.

Karen had been aware that her daughter was being bullied, but not the extent. It was Ryan that filled her in on the details of exactly what happened. “Every day when she goes to school, she says, ‘Mommy, can I just stay at home?’ and she just doesn’t want to go.’ And now every time I send her to school, I feel like I am not protecting her and I am letting her down,” Suffern told CNN.

Much attention has been paid to bullying in recent years. Study after study has found the effects of school bullying detrimental to the mental and physical well being of victims. The Internet has made it impossible for victims to avoid their tormentors as cyber bullying has made it a round the clock event. The pressure can be deadly.  Bullying also has unintended consequences for family members. They can share in the feelings of sadness, anger, and hopelessness – as Ryan’s letter shows.

Moved by her son’s letter, she shared it on online with her friends, as well as with blogger Tony Posnanski. He was so touched by the story of Karen’s family, he himself a victim of childhood bullying due to a lifelong battle with his weight, he decided to write about it. He shared his feelings and their story on CNN’s iReport.

Posnanski tells the New York Daily News that “Anything with bullying gets to me. That’s what really touched me about this story. I was overweight as a child, and I was once over 400 pounds. I learned the best way to defeat a bully is self-esteem.”

A few days later, CNN moved the story to the front page. Since then, it has gone viral, including media coverage in Italy, France and Germany.

Due to the attention, the twins’ school, Rocky Mountain Prep Charter, issued a statement on their website, indicating they were aware of the incident and were saddened that it had occurred. They stated that they were taking it seriously and were intervening immediately.

Ryan had an additional request for Santa in his letter in regards to his sister’s birthday:

“Can you ask Big Time Rush to Amber’s B-day party? It will make her so happy. If you can’t get them to come but get her everything she ask for. Thanks Santa. P.S. My mom throw the best B-day partys. You can come if you want.” [all sic]

Ryan is the most perfect brother ever. EVER.

In response to the request about Big Time Rush (it’s Nickelodean’s answer to the Monkees, except they’re a hockey playing boy band), a “Please Play Amber’s Birthday Party, Big Time Rush“ campaign has started and their Facebook page has been inundated with requests for them to help a little girl’s dreams come true, including one from Tony Posnanski himself.

If this video is any indication, Santa’s elves are hard at work on your request, Ryan.

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6:28PM PST on Feb 21, 2014

What an amazing kid!

7:01PM PDT on Oct 31, 2013

Did the school know about it and not do anything prior to the boy speaking up? Sad story that the parents of the bullying students probably taught the kids!

9:36AM PDT on Oct 13, 2013

Lynne W...he is an eight year old boy, most 8 year olds doesn't think like that.

11:32PM PDT on Oct 12, 2013

The sister should be very proud of her brother; well done to him for recognising and wanting something done to help his sister from the bullying.

9:37PM PDT on Oct 12, 2013

he could help her by exercising with her and eating a low cal diet with her.

3:40PM PDT on Oct 10, 2013

I do not have any siblings but Ryan has to be the best brother anyone could have. What a selfless little boy with the heart of a man. I know what bullying can do to a person, its a lifelong trauma that affects everyday of your life and the memories are ever present, sadly they override the happy times that happen throughout your life. What do bullies get out of inflicting humiliation, pain and suffering on others just because they are who they are? Sex, race, fat, thin, disabled, we are who we are and we are all unique and we should not be judged by our fellow human beings just for being us!

7:06PM PDT on Sep 23, 2013

Tears streaming down my face. I know what it is to be bullied. I hope that mom is fighting for Amber and Ryan.

I hope that her fantasy boy band shows up and all the jerks are pressing their noses against the glass. But I have revenge fantasies.

I think Amber and Ryan and their mom are far classier than that.

5:29PM PDT on Sep 23, 2013


4:56PM PDT on Sep 23, 2013

bless this young man, and bless brothers and sisters everywhere, who look out for their siblings.

5:12AM PDT on Sep 23, 2013

sad story

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