An Idaho father's Facebook post about his 7-year-old son being bullied has gone viral after he asked people to educate their children about special needs and compassion.
Dan Bezzant said his son, Jackson, has experienced a variety of bullying, from children throwing rocks at him, to others making hurtful comments about his appearance.
Jackson has Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare condition that affects the development of bones and facial tissues.
He is nearly deaf and the condition has also affected his eyesight. He has undergone major surgery already and will eventually need to have several more.
Most recently, Bezzant was devastated when he found out kids at school were calling Jackson “ugly” and a “freak” during breakfast. His ex-wife called him last week to tell him about the incident.
“When I was told about it, I was just in my car sobbing in the driveway,” Bezzant told InsideEdition.com.
Bezzant took to Facebook on Thursday to talk about the incident.
“My heart is in pieces right now…my soul feels like it’s ripping from my chest…this beautiful young man my son Jackson has to endure a constant barrage of derogatory comments and ignorance like I’ve never witnessed,” Bezzant wrote.
He went on to say that his son has been teased on a regular basis and has even talked about suicide.
“Please please take a minute and imagine if this were your child. Take a minute to educate your children about special needs. Talk to them about compassion and love for our fellow man," Bezzant continued.
The post has been shared nearly 14,000 times. Although Jackson doesn’t know about the status, it is already making a difference in his life.
Parents and kids in the community have already made pledges to keep their eye out for Jackson and make sure he’s okay.
“I was just making a plea to my friends and family and asking them to spread the message of love and understanding for all,” Bezzant wrote. “The message isn’t just for Jackson, it’s for all kids who are experience bullying.”
The dad said he has received so much love and support from people since he posted the status.
Bezzant also said he’s learned about two other children in East Idaho with Treacher Collins syndrome, and they plan to meet for a playgroup and lunch soon.
Bezzant set up a P.O. box for people wanting to send Jackson cards.
“I am receiving constant messages of people sending love and prayers for Jackson. All I am asking is that you teach your children about bullying and making sure that kids understand that people are built differently and God loves us all,” Bezzant said. “I hope it brings awareness to the topic.”