February 14, 2019
Jack Wilkinson was only seven years old when he left a note for his teacher that asked God to take him away. He couldn't take the bullying any longer.
Wilkinson, of Australia, was being targeted at his school due to his anxiety disorder. According to Sydney mom Kristy Sturgess, kids would taunt and tease her young boy.
They called him crazy and began to get violent with him in Year 2. On the first day, he was made to trip and fall.
"That was one of the first signs it was going to be an extremely tough year for Jack."
He was "punched in the head" and endured other attacks until it built up to a ten-minute ordeal on the playground.
Sturgess explained what happened:
"Jack was physically hit and kicked in the playground for nearly 10 minutes, and was stabbed with a plastic fork in the back."
The mother said he was crying and limping when she went to pick him up that day. She also "broke down in tears" at the sight of leg bruises and the fork mark.
"That was the final straw for Jack," Sturgess said. Two weeks later, he wrote a note saying:
"I don't want to be alive. God, just take me."
His teacher saw the note. When his mother read it, she took steps to help her son out of the dark hole he was in. She looked into counselors and other external programs.
It was art therapy that Wilkinson picked to relieve the traumatic scars left from the bullying. His mother took things further when she asked her son: "Would you like to do more with these drawings?"
She turned her son's creations into t-shirt artwork as she already had a clothing manufacturing business. Soon, they were selling online. Proceeds go towards other kids like her son who are being bullied and need help.
The children's organization they set up is called Jack Wilkinson kids. It works in tangent with the Kid's Helpline, an anti-bullying charity that gives counseling to kids via phone.
Wilkinson said of his contribution to change:
"It makes me better when I talk to someone and when I know they’re doing something about the bad things, it makes me feel safe."
"Now, I feel pretty good. But other people are going through the same things as I did and having a hard time. It would be nice for them to be able to talk to Kids Helpline. It would be nice, they’d have a friend, and wouldn’t be as sad or scared."
Interested persons can visit the website which gives Wilkinson's backstory. It also has a shop to purchase the t-shirts and explains exactly what the Kid's Helpline is about.
Another young boy tragically committed suicide last month due to the same reasons as Wilkinson. He was only 13 years old and went to a Michigan high school.
Joanna and Michael Wohlfert. | Photo: Joanna Wohlfert
Michael Martin was forced to endure bullying every time he got on the school bus. When he could, he'd simply skip school to avoid it. His mother Joanna was aware and reached out to the school district.
For some reason, they didn't respond. And in January 2019, Michael attempted suicide and was taken to the Sparrow Hospital. Two days later, he tragically passed away.
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