Canadian Boy With Cerebral Palsy Bullied on Video: 'They Were All Laughing,' Mom Says

Brett Colbertt, says he was humiliated by fellow students.
Terri McEachern

The boy was forced to lie face down in a stream while students walked on him, his mom says.

A Canadian boy with cerebral palsy says he was bullied into lying in a cold stream so students could step on him.

Videos of his humiliation were shared on social media, where they quickly went viral, said the boy's mother, Terri McEachern. In the footage, teenagers can be heard laughing and calling 14-year-old Brett Corbett a "f***ing little b****."

Police and school officials are investigating the incident, which occurred last week outside Glace Bay High School in Nova Scotia. 

"He's scared to go back to school," his mom told Monday. Brett will not be returning to class for now, she added. An anti-bullying demonstration is scheduled for Tuesday. "I'll take him to the rally and then bring him back," she said.

McEachern, through tears, said she heard of the incident last week, when Brett was sent home from school. Later, she heard that videos existed of her son being ridiculed. Someone sent one to her, and she can't talk about it without breaking down. "No child should be called "a little b****," she said.

Brett told that the whole thing started as a dare, and then "they forced me. They were going to push me in the water," he said. "The first thing they said was, 'Get in the water, b****.'"

"I was a little bit afraid," he said. But he's more afraid now, because he's talked to the media, despite being advised by school administrators to avoid journalists, he said. He's worried he'll be yelled at if he goes back to school, he said.

On Friday, several students walked out in protest at Corbett's treatment, The Chronicle Herald reported. Officials there referred media calls to the school district. 

“We are taking the incident that happened at Glace Bay High seriously,” said Michelle MacLeod, a communications officer with the board. “This is unacceptable and very disappointing behavior. This type of behavior will not be tolerated and is not one that the school and the Center for Education is proud of."

Education authorities are working with Cape Breton Regional Police investigators.

Brett said he just want things to change at school, where he says he has been previously picked on. "I don't want bullies at the school," he said.

His mother said she doesn't know what to do. Her son does not have severe symptoms, she said, and is able to walk and talk, though he sometimes stutters and his gait is impaired. 

"I just want what's best for him." She says three students stepped on her son's back as he lay face down in the water. "They're all laughing while he's in the water," she said. The kids who stepped on him were suspended for a day, she said. 

Brett told his mom he forgives them, she said. "He's such a forgiving person. He sees the good in everyone."