Why A 10-Year-Old Was Escorted To Elementary School By Hundreds Of Bikers

"He is now one of our brothers."

Anyone who contemplates bullying 10-year-old Xander Rose will likely think twice from now on.

The fourth grader from Nova Scotia, Canada has always wanted to be a biker. He's been teased about his weight and wardrobe of black leather biker vests for years and has even endured racial slurs, sexual comments, and death threats from fellow students. But it looks like that's all about to change. 

According to CTV News, Rose's mom, Katie Laybolt, contacted the school board and the bullies' parents in an effort to end the taunting, but her efforts didn't result in a solution. Instead, the bullying intensified. 

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Tired of watching her son be mercilessly ridiculed by his peers, Laybolt tried one more thing. She reached out to Defenders of the Children (DoC), a New Zealand-based biker organization dedicated to the fight against child abuse, including bullying in all its forms.

DoC was eager to help, and used social media to gather nearby bikers willing to support Xander. They shared his story on their Facebook page where they asked fellow bikers to "give him a ride to school some time, in numbers, as a sign to kids and teachers that he's much loved and has a very protective family on two wheels." 

The response was overwhelming, and after a test run last week, dozens of bikers showed up on June 21 to escort Xander to the front door of his elementary school.

"I'm hoping he knows that from now on, if somebody bullies him, he's got somebody to go to," biker Mike Basso told CTV News. "He is now one of our brothers." 

After the run, Laybolt thanked her son's supporters via a heartfelt Facebook post. "So many people to thank I truly don't know where to begin....from the first message sent to Defenders of the Children the support has been nonstop and more than any parents could ever ask for their son," she wrote. "From the bottom of my heart, thank you all. I'm beyond speechless and at a true loss for words."

The best part is, thanks to Xander's Ride, the school is finally taking steps to address any bullying he and other students may have been subjected to. A mental health expert is scheduled to visit Xander's Cape Brenton neighborhood on Monday to talk with families and young people about bullying, according to CTV Atlantic. Perhaps, this conversation will help to raise awareness about the issue and offer resources to deal with it. 

Cover image via Shutterstock

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