An Idaho dad took to Facebook last week after learning about the reported horrific bullying his 7-year-old son endured. In an emotional post, Dan Bezzant wrote of the cruel abuse his child experiences on a regular basis, and begged other parents to educate their kids about special needs. “My heart is in pieces right now…my soul feels like it’s ripping from my chest,” he began. “This beautiful young man my son Jackson has to endure a constant barrage of derogatory comments and ignorance like I’ve never witnessed. He is called ugly and freak and monster on a daily basis by his peers at school. He talks about suicide. .. he’s not quite 8!”
Jackson Bezzant has Treacher Collins syndrome, a genetic condition that causes underdeveloped facial bones. The changes to the cheekbones, jaws, ears and eyes can lead to other problems as well. About half of affected individuals suffer from hearing and vision loss. Dan told InsideEdition.com his son is nearly deaf and has undergone major surgery, with more procedures to come.
The father learned about the most recent verbal abuse last week, when his ex-wife called him and shared the horrible details. “When I was told about it, I was just in my car sobbing in the driveway,” he told InsideEdition.com.
In addition to name-calling, Jackson’s peers will push him around and even throw rocks at him, his dad claims. “He says he has no friends and everyone hates him,” Dan wrote in his post. “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.”
Dan’s heartbreaking request soon took off, with over 58,000 people sharing his post. The outpouring of support is already making a difference in Jackson’s life. People in the community vowed to watch out for the young boy, and Jackson will soon meet up with two other local children who have the same condition.
“I am receiving constant messages of people sending love and prayers for Jackson,” Dan said. “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.”