The parents of a five-year-old boy who had to delete his personal social media profiles in retaliation for an offensive tweet from his classmate are urging others to be careful about posting their own private messages.
In a video posted to Facebook, the family of the boy, who has not been named, explain that they felt compelled to do so because they felt they had been treated unfairly in the wake of the death of a black man, Walter Scott, last year.
Their video is titled The Bigger Picture and it includes a detailed account of the events that led to the boy’s social media deletion.
It begins with a series of tweets by the boy saying that his classmates had bullied him, and that he had been “trolled”.
Then, it cuts to a picture of a school bus with a sign saying “Dear Friends, please leave us alone”.
“There are people that say things like ‘He [the black man] deserved it’, ‘He’s a criminal’, ‘he deserved it’.
But he didn’t deserve to die.
He didn’t need to die,” the boy says in the video.”
I don’t know if you’ve ever been bullied, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it.
It doesn’t make you OK with it.”
The boy’s mother, Michelle Robinson, says the message they are trying to send is simple: “Don’t hurt people.
Don’t harm people.
Do what you want to do.”
Robinson says that while her son did not expect to be targeted, he did not understand why he had to take action.
“When he was a little kid, he had a lot of negative messages,” she says.
“We all know how that works, it’s a cycle.
People are trying, you just have to get out of the way.
You don’t have to say anything.
It’s not OK.
I think that’s a big part of what our family has been going through.”
In the video, Robinson explains that her son had told them that his peers were threatening to kill him.
“The first time we found out that he was on Twitter, we were so concerned that he would be killed,” she explains.
“It’s not right to do that to another human being.”
In his video, the boy asks if it is possible to understand why people would say these things to him.
He says: “Why would they be upset with someone like me, who they think I’m like?”
He goes on to say that it is “really hard to understand what they’re saying, especially to a child”.
The boy explains that he has been bullied in school, and has also had other issues that have been “very personal” to him, including being teased and being labelled as gay.
Robinson explains that she and her husband are trying “to get some of these people to understand that we’re not alone”.
She also says that she has found a way to help their son overcome his fears, which include being bullied on social media.
“He said that he just wants to be able to go back to being a normal person again,” she adds.
The family of Walter Scott released a video after the death in August.
In the short video, they discuss their concerns about the school’s handling of the situation.
“They are making it seem like this is a one-off,” the video’s narrator says.
“I’m just asking, what if this is an ongoing thing?
What if this continues to happen?”
The family says they have received a flood of negative comments about their son and have even received death threats.
They are also calling on parents to take a closer look at their own child’s social networking profiles and understand how they could be viewed as being in “disrespectful” or “disparaging” ways.
“Do not put out your own personal message on Twitter and Facebook,” Robinson says in her video.
“The same rules apply to the person you’re sending it to.
Don [sic] think it’s OK to say something nasty or hurtful.”