Anger Over Son's Bullying Spurs Moving Facebook Post

MaryAnn Parisi explains why her 11-year-old is different
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2016 2:03 PM CST
Anger Over Son's Bullying Spurs Moving Facebook Post
This May 16, 2012, file photo shows a Facebook logo displayed on the screen of an iPad in New York.   (AP Photo/James H. Collins, File)

MaryAnn Parisi's 11-year-old son, Michael, has been bullied before, but on Monday, what the 36-year-old Connecticut mom heard from her son's 6th-grade teachers pushed her over the edge. "Michael, he told his teacher 'It's OK, I'm getting used to [the bullying],'" after being picked on at a school assembly, Parisi tells ABC News. Angry ("you do not get used to" bullying), she posted an open letter to Michael's bullies on Facebook Monday that's grabbing headlines. "Michael was born at 26 weeks. ... He spent the first 3 months of his life fighting to survive," she wrote. "He didn't learn to talk till he was 3 years old. Walking was very delayed. He was so very behind. But he loved. Oh how he loved. There is not one person he doesn't like/love, including those who tormented him today."

She goes on to describe how Michael has been called "brace face," "ugly," and "bucky beaver" and teased for the way he eats. "Did you know he physically can not control the food staying in his mouth," she wrote. "Those braces are just one of the many steps he will endure, to help align his lower jaw that never fully developed. So he doesn't spill his food or chew weirdly anymore. So you won't pick on him." She ends by telling the bullies that even if they don't like her son, they have to respect him as a "fighter. ... respect those around [you], you never know what they have been through." Parisi tells Fox61 she's been overwhelmed with positive responses. As for Michael, "He is most definitely resilient, but he was definitely bothered. ... In the end, he is still a young boy with very hurt feelings." (More bullying stories.)

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