A 12-YEAR-OLD boy tormented by bullies who mocked his red hair has gone viral after writing a poem responding to their cruel taunts over his red hair.
Jay Coleiro took to Facebook to share his son Alfie’s brave response to his tormentors, who sent anonymous messages to the young boy telling him to kill himself “because gingers are worse than cancer”.
Alfie was mocked on Instagram, through his PlayStation and via an app on his phone over his red locks.
Eventually one of his teachers at Causeway School saw the messages and decided to get in touch with his parents who were understandably worried at the effect the messages might have had.
Alfie wasn’t about to let the nasty comments get to him though, and when his dad asked what he wanted to do about the mean taunts, came up with a novel way of fighting back.
Keen to help other children his age who might be going through a similar experience at school, Alfie penned a poem all about his experience of being bullied.
Alfie's poem can be read in full here:
Bullying ain’t nice, It ain’t cool,
Just because I am ginger, you’re so so cruel,
Are you really like this?
Have you not got anything better to do?
Or are you gonna treat me like gum on the bottom of your shoe?
You’re an idiot – you have made me cry,
But that’s not the case, not even my home is my safe place.
I see the messages and feel like crap,
It’s like I’m stuck in some sort of trap,
so I’m not OK but I will say I’m fine,
I make people happy and people fake their smiles,
I might be faking mine, I’ve got love and support, that’s all I need.
Just please own up, please please please,
Don’t be like this, don’t be mean,
Can’t say it to my face, so you sit behind a screen.
But I’m gonna carry on with life, do what I wanna do,
Don’t interrupt me any more, I’m done with you,
So I’m not gonna sit there, cry and freak out,
But without a doubt, I’m not gonna blend in,
WHEN I WAS BORN TO STAND OUT.
"We were also anxious because we have four boys and three of them have read hair. As parents we are just so proud of him that he didn’t rise to it. He didn’t lose his confidence or lose it in general," Alfie's dad, Jay, told The Argus.
"He’s always been a popular boy. He loves making people happy. So instead of rising to it he just wrote a poem."
The poem proved a hit on social media, earning Alfie plenty of plaudits and even a face-to-face meeting with Strictly Come Dancing winner and fellow redhead Stacey Dooley.
There’s no denying it: this boy was born to stand out.