Seven-year-old Greyson Sigueira sits on the front porch of his Oshawa home with his mother.
Ayrin Nicholl is alternating between holding Greyson’s hand and stroking his head.
She tells him what a strong boy he is.
Nicholl said it has been a tough year for Greyson ever since he started at a new school.
“You’re supposed to send them there, they’re supposed to be safe and you’re not supposed to have to worry,” she said.
But all Nicholl has done for the last few months is fear for her son’s safety after she said he’s been relentlessly bullied.
“He would tell me he wanted to die, that he hated his life and he doesn’t know why he gets targeted,” she said. “It started with name calling, he used to get picked on all the time, people used to call him fat, marshmallow, you know make him feel bad about himself.”
The family insists there were multiple calls to staff at David Bouchard Public School for help.
“He spent half of the school year inside because he was too scared to go out,” she said. “Sometimes he would walk around with the vice-principal of the school.”
Greyson describes the school year simply: “It’s been nothing but hell.”
But things continued to escalate Nicholl noted.
Her mother, the children’s grandmother, picked up Greyson and his big brother one afternoon and was shocked by what she said she witnessed.
“There was blood everywhere so he had gotten knocked in the nose, he was on the ground, kids were jumping on him up and down,” Nicholl said.
Then last Friday, allegations of a disturbing incident of physical violence landed Greyson in hospital.
“I was with my friend, this kid was picking on them and I said ‘stop,’ and he was running at me and I was running for the teacher and he pushed me,” Greyson said.
He ended up with two broken bones and a cast over his right arm.
Global News reached out to the Durham District School Board (DDSB) for comment.
A spokesperson for DDSB would not speak directly to this case but sent a two-page document called “Statement from the Durham District School Board Regarding Safety and Well-being of Students.”
The document noted: “We focus on promoting a positive school climate and review safety tips and procedures in an age-appropriate manner, if and when an incident may arise.”
It also details the “difference between bullying and conflict.”
“Bullying is generally repeated aggressive acts over time where a perceived or real power imbalance exists between the person causing harm and the one who is being harmed. Conversely, conflict is usually not repeated.”
Ayrin Nicholl found this disturbing. Her son, she said, deserves acknowledgement for the torment he endured over the past year.
“I feel like so many people failed him and things can be prevented,” Nicholl said. “They need to have better consequences for children who do this so in the future maybe there won’t be as big of a problem.”
Mom and son put a post on Facebook with a poignant plea: #stopbullyingnow.
It’s been shared over a thousand times, with many people posting comments and well-wishes.
‘If we start now, there’s hope for all of them,” Nicholl added.
“You have a right to stand up for yourself,” Greyson added.
As the two sit side by side, holding hands, they expressed how they hope their social media appeal to the public will make a difference in someone’s life.