In schools today, the epidemic that is bullying is growing. Sadly, children every day are having to endure worse abuse at their hands of their classmates. Sometimes though, it’s the little things that can affect children the most, like being an outsider and having no one to sit with at lunch.
Autism is a serious developmental disorder that impairs social interaction and communication for those who live with the condition. Sadly, these issues can cause the bullying that a child goes through to be so much worse. These children are often treated differently by their peers, which can result in them being treated as disliked outsiders.
Leah Paske’s son, Bo, lives with autism and it has made his life quite difficult. He is often treated like an outsider at school because of his autism. His mother says the middle schooler usually eats alone every day at lunch, although on rare occasions his classmates will join him.
On August 30, 2016 though, Bo would not have to sit alone at lunch. Florida State Football players were visiting the middle school that he attends as part of a community service program. Wide Retriever, Travis Rudolph, saw Bo sitting by himself and decided to join him.
Someone captured a photograph of Bo and Travis eating lunch together, with no other students nearby and sent it along to his mom. Leah posted the photo to her Facebook account, along with a touching message about how touched she was that for that one day, she didn’t have to worry about whether or not her son had a lunch friend, like she did every other day.
When the Florida State coach, Jimbo Fisher, heard about his player’s actions, he spoke out about how proud he is of his team. Travis never expected the story to become as popular or viral as it did, and says that Leah’s post brought tears to his eyes when he first read it.
Travis Rudolph is a very kind man, and I hope in this day and age that this story helps remind us all what is important. We must be kind to others, and don’t be afraid because someone is different than you - they just may have a story to tell.
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