Xander Rose isn’t worried about going to school this morning. The fourth grader from Nova Scotia, who has ben mercilessly bullied for years, will be escorted to the school doors by hundreds of local bikers who say they’re doing it to send a message to the bullies: Don’t mess with Xander. We’ve got his back.
The boy’s mom, Katie Laybolt, told CTV News this week that her son has been mercilessly bullied in school for years. He’s been ridiculed about his weight and the leather biker vest he likes wearing. He’s endured racial slurs and “disgustingly” sexual comments. One boy even threatened to kill him with a gun, Laybolt said.
In an effort to mitigate the bullying, Laybolt reached out to Xander’s school and its board, a local children’s welfare group and the parents of other students. But the abuse, she said, has only intensified over the past year. “It’s been crazy,” she said.
So Laybolt reached out to Defenders of the Children, a New Zealand-based biker organization, for help. The group, which offers support to child victims of violence and bullying, promptly responded and shared Laybolt’s story on social media.
Describing Xander as a “future biker” who “loves his biker gear,” the group asked motorcyclists in the Nova Scotia area if they would “give him a ride to school some time, in numbers, as a sign to kids and teachers that he’s much loved and has a very protective family on two wheels.”
The response was immediate, with local biker groups like the Cape Breton Bike Rally and other community members agreeing to escort Xander to school on Wednesday.
The bikers plan to meet Xander at a local shopping center before heading to his school this morning. The bikers will then dismount from their motorcycles and form two lines at the school’s entrance to ensure that he is escorted safely into the building.
Here’s hoping that the gesture sends a clear message to all the school’s bullies.
“I’m hoping he knows from now on, if somebody bullies him, he’s got somebody to go to,” Mike Basso of Cape Breton Bike Rally told the station. “He can look on the corner on any street. He’s going to find a leather vest. He’s now one of our brothers.”
“It’s time to put up what we call a wall of leather and steel,” Basso told the Cape Breton Post this week. “We’re here for the kids. They need to know there’s somebody out there rooting for them.”