A 12-year-old boy has written a heart-breaking poem after being bullied for having ginger hair.
The bullies told Alfie Coleiro to kill himself because being ginger was ‘worse than having cancer’.
To make matters worse, the bullying came from online trolls who attacked him anonymously. They made their comments via Instagram, PlayStation and a phone app that allows users to send anonymous messages.
The bullies were clearly too cowardly to let him know who they were, but Alfie is made of stronger stuff and although the insults upset him, he remains proud and defiant.
His poem describes the pain that the comments have caused – but also says that he was ‘born to stand out’.
Alfie’s mother Nyree, 30, said: “There’s an app that enables people to send messages anonymously. I have no idea what it’s called but he was getting messages on his Instagram, his PlayStation and his phone.
“He couldn’t get away from it. It kills me that my son was subjected to this.
“He was told that he should kill himself, that I shouldn’t have had him, that having ginger hair is worse than cancer. They sent the messages to his friends as well.
“It was so much for a 12-year-old to handle. As his mum and dad it killed us knowing he was being put through it.”
Alfie’s father Jay posted the poem on Facebook and said: “A message to the bullies who told my son to kill himself because gingers are worse than cancer – this is his message back.”Alfie’s poem
Bullying ain’t nice, It ain’t cool,
Just because I am ginger, you’re so so cruel,
Are you really like this?
Have you not got anything better to do?
Or are you gonna treat me like gum on the bottom of your shoe?
You’re an idiot – you have made me cry,
But that’s not the case, not even my home is my safe place.
I see the messages and feel like crap,
It’s like I’m stuck in some sort of trap,
So I’m not OK but I will say I’m fine,
I make people happy and people fake their smiles,
I might be faking mine, I’ve got love and support, that’s all I need.
Just please own up, please please please,
Don’t be like this, don’t be mean,
Can’t say it to my face, so you sit behind a screen.
But I’m gonna carry on with life, do what I wanna do,
Don’t interrupt me any more, I’m done with you,
So I’m not gonna sit there, cry and freak out,
But without a doubt, I’m not gonna blend in,
WHEN I WAS BORN TO STAND OUT.
Do you qualify to become an Irish citizen?There are three main ways for a person to qualify for Irish citizenship – through birth, through marriage or civil partnership or through naturalisation. Check if you qualify for Irish citizenship
Did you know?Fans of Game of Thrones can soon visit some of the key filming locations in Northern Ireland, in a move that will provide a huge tourism boost for the area. Find out more.
Have you heard about…A two-minute film from showcases Irish dancing in all its glory. It sees Cork trio Kieran Hardiman, Alan Kenefick and Ciaran Plummer performing their perfectly choreographed routine around the grounds of University College Cork. Find out more.
What about this…Female Irish warrior Grainne Ni Mhaile, or Grace O’Malley is one of the most colourful characters in Irish history. Born around 1530, she was a Pirate Queen and became a constant thorn in the side of British Queen Elizabeth I. Find out more.