Senior students step in to fill the yearbook of bullied sixth grader when mean classmates refuse to do so
WESTMINSTER, COLORADO: Cassandra Ridder was sad when her son Brody came home from school with only a handful of signatures in his yearbook. In a heartwarming move, it was the seniors in school who decided to step in and fill Brody's yearbook.
The heartbroken mom saw that only two other classmates and two teachers had signed the yearbook apart from her own 12-year-old son who wrote, "Hope you make some more friends. — Brody Ridder." According to The Washington Post, Brody had been a student at the Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado, since fifth grade.
But he was repeatedly bullied over the past two years. Ridder said, "There [are] kids that have pushed him and called him names. Brody has been through a lot." She realized the extent of it when Brody asked his classmates to sign his yearbook on May 24. The twelve year old said, "They told me no. It made me sad." After which, Ridder posted a photo of her son's yearbook note in a private Facebook group for parents at the school.
It was then seventeen-year-old Joanna Cooper revealed how she received a text message from her mother with a screenshot of Ridder's post. Joanna then took the initiative to help Brody, because she could feel what the twelve-year-old went through. She said that having signatures in your yearbook shows "that you have friends." Joanna said, "That people would tell him no and deny him a signature, it just hurt my heart."
She made a plan to visit Brody and messaged her friends. But what she didn't know was that many other students were hatching the same plan. One of them was Simone Lightfoot, also an 11th grader, who opened up on how she could relate to Brody. Simone said, "When I was younger, I was bullied a lot like him," adding, "If I could do one little thing to help this kid feel a little better, I'd be more than willing to."
On May 25, the day after the yearbooks were distributed—a sea of older students filed into Brody's sixth-grade classroom to sign his yearbook. Speaking on the same, Brody said, "it made me feel better."
The youngster received more than 100 signatures and messages of support in his yearbook and also got some phone numbers and a gift bag. Joanne said, "Just seeing him light up, it felt really good," adding, "It was a small thing, but it made him so happy." The positive initative undertaken by the seniors also impacted Brody's classmates, who got up from their seats and signed their names in his yearbook.