LETTERS OF SUPPORT DELIVERED
Be A Friend to MANIX!
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We delivered 472 letters of peer support to MANIX in April 2020, bringing a joyful close to the end of Season 5!
"I didn't know I had fans!!"
"I am so grateful.
Thank you so much for making a terrible situation much much better."
~ Manix's mom
Manix's drive for letters of support fell smack in the middle of school buildings closing due to the coronavirus, and educators and students scrambling to transition to distance learning. DESPITE, our amazing Ambassadors sent 472 letters AND many assigned "videos of support" through Google Classroom to be included in Manix's surprise video, which we've embedded here!
"We told the kids we wanted to show them an awesome video and when you started describing him, he was SO shocked!"
~ MANIX'S STORY ~
After relentless bullying that convinced him he would never be understood,
9-year-old boy attempted to end his pain on the school playground.
Manix's mom describes her son as
"unique, passionate, eccentric and totally the kindest ever." He adores his brothers and sisters and is helpful. Manix is VERY SOCIAL, yet when he tries to connect to other kids, he's not great at reading their emotions due to a processing disorder. He follows the beat to his own drum which has led to misunderstandings and a lack of tolerance in peers who find entertainment in bullying him.
TEACHERS: Play this Youtube Video by our ON-AIR TEEN AMBASSADOR, BRIELLE WITHERS, to teach students all about MANIX!
NO ONE DESERVES TO BE BULLIED, EVER!
Starting in 2nd Grade in northern California, older kids have hit Manix and tried to force him to fight others. He is called "mayonnaise" and "ugly" and foul names we won't repeat here.
His family moved across town in July 2019 and Manix entered 3rd Grade as the NEW KID IN SCHOOL. On the 2nd day, Manix got off the bus with a bloody nose from being hit. His mom can count "on two hands" how many times he got off the bus "okay" this year.
For a while, Manix fought back. In one instance, his mom says, "The kid was trying to bully him for a present he had for me... Manix fought back and the boy choked him out and held him down. The school informed me Manix was not to blame."
Shortly after, in a terrifying cry for help, Manix was found at recess having tied one end of a jumprope around his neck. He was trying to swing the other end around a tree branch, wanting to put an end to the hurt. Manix later explained that he felt "misunderstood" and that made him feel hopeless and so sad.
Intense therapy began but bullying continued. Manix was suspended for a week after having a meltdown in class. How much can a 9-year-old take?
In December, Manix was kicked off the bus along with his bully because he raised his hands in self-defense, so his parents made a rule "no hands on anyone... walk away and do not engage."
In his interview with ABC KCKR News, Manix says, "I learned if you hit back, two wrongs don't make a right."
The same bus driver who kicked both Manix and his bully off the bus weeks back, allowed bullying to happen again a few weeks later. Manix chose not to fight back. The incident was captured by another student on her cell phone and quickly went viral after it was posted.
Manix's mom, Samantha, had alerted the school countless times to bullying but until this video, she never had physical proof that her son was being victimized and it was not just a fight between kids. Faced with the video evidence, the school is finally investigating this incident. Meanwhile, Manix's parents pulled him from the school for the remainder of the year.
Manix's parents are looking for a new school placement for their son with zero tolerance for bullying. His mom told a news reporter, "I would like to build a relationship with a school that is willing to put responsibility where responsibility is supposed to be put."
The 3rd Grader's first days at home were happy ones; he was "on a pink cloud" being out of reach of the bullies, but he still has breakdowns from the trauma he's experienced for so long.
Ambassadors, here's where YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Tell Manix that you are...
PROUD OF HIM FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING
and for HAVING THE STRENGTH NOT TO FIGHT BACK,
for his INDIVIDUALITY and tell him, BE YOURSELF!
This 9-year-old loves anything adventurous, especially things where he can go fast like scooters, bikes and video games. He has started JIU JITSO classes. Manix aspires to be a singer, and looks up to his dad who is a musician. Manix loves to compose Heavy Metal songs to sing around the house!! When needing to chill-out, Manix's go-to is reading a book. What an awesome kid!!
A SCHOOL BUS ASSAULT FINALLY CAUGHT ON VIDEO
"That ugly one right there?
His name is Manix...
Is he crying? Do it again! Do it again!"
We've posted a small clip from the full bullying video IN NEGATIVE to mask the identities of the 3 smiling bullies who are hitting, slapping, choking and dragging Manix.
It's comforting to note at the very end of this clip, that the boy sitting in the seat with Manix, grabs the bully's forearm and says "STOP." We applaud this brave UPSTANDER.
Tap here for
Full ABC KCKR News Report following viral bus video
PLEASE mail letters of support for MANIX to...
Be A Friend Project
449 Lane Gate Road
Cold Spring, NY 10516
Or, you can skip the postage and EMAIL your letter or drawing
(embedded in the email or a clear picture or scanned letter) to email@example.com
We'll print it out and include it in his "Friend Mail" package!
DELIVERED April 2020! Yay!
NEW FEATURE: "LANCASTER'S LINK",
a PRINTABLE VERSION of the Friend Mail Recipient's story at the suggestion of Super Ambassador/Educator Michelle Murphy Lancaster of Bushland High School in Texas... no more time-consuming cut & paste to prepare each Recipient's story for displays or hand-outs! Now, IT'S EASY! Simply tap here and print the PDF!
The Be-A-Friend Project does not give advice, therapy or intervention.
Our one purpose is to send letters and cards of encouragement and caring from kids to kids.
449 LANE GATE ROAD, COLD SPRING, NY 10516
Co-President Jennifer Cell: 845-742-7112
The organization’s formal legal name is BE A FRIEND PROJECT, INC.
It is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization / Federal Tax ID # 84-2802576.
Any donation to the Be A Friend Project, Inc. is tax-deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law, thank you!