A high-school bully decided to apologize after 100 Facebook users showed up to rally behind a boy he had accused of having no friends.
South Salem High School Junior Halsey Parkerson got a huge surprise on Friday, when more than 50 cars showed up at his school to help him stand up to a local bully.
KATU reports that on Thursday, Parkerson’s aunt had stopped by his school to have lunch with him. That’s when a bully began taunting Parkerson and saying it didn’t matter because he “didn’t have any friends.”
Parkerson told his aunt that it happened “all the time.” In response, she reached out to an online car club she belongs to on Facebook and asked people to show up to the school for lunch on Friday.
In response, more than 50 cars showed up, carrying at least 100 people. And KATU's
"It's just unbelievable," Parkerson told KATU. "I now know whenever I get bullied I'll raise my head up and say, 'Sorry, I have too many friends to think I'm being bullied.'"
And the story just gets better from there. When Parkerson and his new friends approached the unnamed bully, he offered Parkerson a high-five and an apology.
“I apologize,” the student, whose identity is being withheld, told Parkerson. “I apologize and I take it back.”
When the mass of cars first showed up at South Salem High School on Friday, Principal David Phelps was immediately alerted of the unusual incident. However, once he learned why all of the visitors had showed up, he decided to let the event continue.
A study from the National Center for Education Statistics estimates that a third of all students have experienced bullying in some form. An even as awareness over school bullying has risen in recent years, the news continues to see tragic stories of children and teens who have been bullied by classmates and peers. CNN reported that a day after an Illinois high school showed students a video on bullying a student committed suicide. When his Brad Lewis found his 15-year-old son's suicide note, he said his son said bullying had pushed him over the edge.
Since Friday, Parkerson said he has received an outpouring of support. On his Facebook page, he wrote:
“Thanks to everyone who was there with me and my family thanks also to the ones who could not make it by all you making a difference,” he wrote. “I truly mean it I’m tearing up thanks guys for standing up with me and helping me make a difference!!”
Parkerson said that while he’s grateful for the incredible show up support, he realizes it was not about him specifically. Rather, it was a public display meant to encourage anyone who is being bullied to seek out support.
"If you're being bullied, stand up and express yourself," Parkerson said. "This is one glorious day."
- Society & Culture