Rayden Overbay, a 12-year-old autistic kid from Yukon, Oklahoma, has undergone unrelenting bullying, with at least two of the violent beatings he received being recorded on tape. One happened after school on a Thursday, and the other happened the next day in the school toilet. The two incidences, according to the boy’s mother, are unconnected and happened within 24 hours of one other.
Rayden can be seen exchanging punches with another juvenile and then being physically assaulted, apparently unprovoked, by two juvenile subjects, according to Major Matt Fairchild of the Yukon Police Department. Rayden gets assaulted in the school toilet by a different individual in the second video, which was recorded the next day. He didn’t even fight back, according to officials.
The heinous films were widely shared on social media, but Rayden’s tormentors did not get the response they had hoped for. As the video went viral, many people were outraged, with some even threatening his attackers with death. Danny Overbay, Rayden’s dad, ordered that the bullying stop. It has to stop, no matter what. It has to stop, whether it’s his son or someone else’s son or daughter, he said.
Many others agreed with Rayden’s father and voiced their support for him. Indeed, the viral footage of Rayden’s beatings sparked a nationwide outpouring of sympathy. The only reason he is sitting in front of us all today is because a couple of people or a few people decided to record it on video because they believed it was hilarious. Danny sobbed. Some of those youngsters claim to be his son’s friends, which is difficult for him as a father.
Rayden’s parents claim that the middle schooler has been bullied his whole life as he has ADHD, ODD, ADD, and autism spectrum disorder. Their kid has high-functioning special needs. Just because they haven’t labeled him as a special needs child doesn’t mean he isn’t, Rayden’s father, Danny, said.
As one can see from the video, he’s always been larger than everyone. She would see kids when he was like 8 or 9 just walk up and punch him square in the stomach, Rayden’s mother, Scotlyn Overbay, said, detailing how she had directly experienced her son’s abuse at the hands of other kids.
As people expressed their support for Rayden in response to the videos, a social media campaign with the hashtag #StandWithRayden was launched. Those who wanted to help Rayden and his family were encouraged to contact the nonprofit organization “Fight for the Forgotten,” which worked with the Overbays to ensure Rayden was healthy and felt supported.
The mission of “Fight for the Forgotten” creator Justin Wren is to promote compassion. The goal is not to blame Yukon High School. It’s not to disgrace the kids who were participating; it’s to raise support for Rayden, he said. Just providing them with love, support, understanding, and goodness is contagious, Wren remarked, and Rayden’s parents agree.
While they are thankful for the help Rayden has received, Danny and Scotlyn are concerned about the other children involved and want everybody to take a moment to reflect. His parents are sure that cyberbullying against their son’s attackers is unacceptable, and they have criticized the death threats made against the youngsters shown tormenting Rayden in the video.
These are adults threatening kids, Scotlyn said. There is a risk of harm to kids, which is completely unacceptable. She shouldn’t have to sit here and tell adults to stop threatening 12- and possibly 13-year-old kids, she said. Additionally, it is important to note that the school and law enforcement should have decided on their punishment rather than online bullies, who are no better than the students battling Rayden.
Both the school and the police were able to look into and take action as a result of the bullies’ video proof. Yukon Public Schools verified that the kids implicated faced disciplinary punishment. Because the police were also investigating, they may face additional punishment. They could face assault and battery charges, as well as bullying charges, Major Fairchild added.
The Overbays, for their part, said that they had forgiven the bullies and do not hold the Yukon school responsible for the bullying. His mother and he forgive the babies, and they forgive the children for what they did. They made a mistake, they’re 12, 13, and they’ve got a life to live, Danny said. They made an enormous mistake, and as parents, we forgive them, so please stop all cyberbullying.
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