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Autistic Boy Confronts Bullies In Front Of The Gym Class

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Jake Confronts Bullies

Autistic boy confronts bullies during gym class. Photo from YouTube screen capture

Bullying has reached epic proportions but never before have schools and communities come together to combat it like they are doing today. So many organizations and school administrations are working to eliminate bullying. Schools and school buses are the primary places where bullying occurs because children who are a little bit different stick out more in big groups, making them easy to target.

Since the film, “Bully” came out, it has inspired many to take action. As part of The Bully Project, one courageous boy with autism did just that by confronting his tormentors.
In the video filmed at Jake’s school, Jake is seen in gym class trying to participate and be part of a team. He is often seen by himself and being ignored. The video clip was made as part of The Bully Project, a social campaign created to help end bullying.

Jake stammers a little through his speech to the rest of his gym class but what he has to say is poignant and meaningful. He calls the other kids out for not seeing him for who he is but rather as a target. He tells them that they always leave him out and don’t him or what he says any attention. He tells them that he tries to be their friend but he doesn’t think they want to be his friend. Jake says it hurts that they don’t want to get to know him.

At about this point in his speech, the camera pans to some of the kids. A few are listening with somber expressions. Other giggle and laugh. Jake sees it and calls them out, ‘I see you guys laughing.’ The giggles stop.

After making the video, Jake told the filmmaker that things have gotten better. He explains that bullying has made a major impact on his life but since making the movie, he’s been able to make a lot of friends. He advises other kids with autism to stand up to the bullies and to try not to give a reaction to the bullying. If they can’t get results on their own, he suggests bringing an adult into the situation. He knows it’s hard because kids with autism don’t handle stress as well as other kids. That’s okay, he says because they can get through it and they’ll be awesome. Actually, Jake says they are already awesome.

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