A West Haven, Connecticut, mother is gaining national admiration after she wrote a powerful post on social media intended for the classmates who bully her son. Her message: You never know what someone has been through.
MaryAnn Parisi thought that he 11-year-old son Michael was being bullied at school, and on Jan. 11 was notified by one of his instructors that it had worsened, Fox 61 reports. That’s when she penned the post describing Michael’s story and challenging others to think before they judge.
Michael was born more than three months premature and “spent the first three months of his life fighting to survive,” according to Parisi's Facebook post. Due to numerous medical problems, his development was behind.
“He didn’t learn to talk till he was 3 years old. Walking was very delayed," Parisi wrote. "He didn’t have teeth till after his first birthday. He was so very behind. But he loved."
Michael is now taking steps to fix his teeth and an undersized jaw but that has led to more bullying.
“Kicking his chair, calling him stupid, ugly, brace face, bucky beaver," she wrote. "Telling him to sit down and shut up is not the way. You don’t have to like him, but you do have to respect him. He’s a fighter, that’s a very small portion of his story.”
Parisi added that her son forgives and forgets easily -- but nevertheless, the bullying is unacceptable.
“He is most definitely resilient, but he was definitely bothered," Parisi told Fox 61. "There were tears and sadness. While he is amazing in his resiliency, in the end, he is still a young boy with very hurt feelings."
She added that she is astonished and grateful her post has received so much attention in such a short time and wishes for her message to make a difference.
“My post is definitely getting the reaction I had hoped and then some,” Parisi said. “It is overwhelming, but necessary. Any form of bullying is not ok, if this helps in some small or large way, then it has done so much more than allowing an angry and hurt mom vent.”
Parisi's Facebook post was shared over 900 times in three days.