Bullying is the social menace that America needs to exterminate for good. Every day, thousands of kids dread going about living their lives due to the fear of being bullied and they are not the only ones who suffer. It is an equally traumatizing experience for the parents.
The horrors of childhood bullying are detestable enough when it concerns one’s appearance, but notably more so when victim suffers from a physical disability. Six-year-old Danny ‘Danimal’ Keefe suffered from both.
Dressing up, every day, in his spunky suit and fedora, and going to school, Danny was the victim of relentless bullying by his school mates due to his unconventional dress sense. Moreover, his speech impediment turned things from bad to worse.
When he was born, Danny suffered from a brain hemorrhage which left him with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), a motor speech disorder. However, this was merely the beginning of his troubles since he was then subject to a horrendous campaign of teasing and torment.
Kids at school snatched his hat to play keep-away, dumped dirt and mulch on his hair, and hurled horrible insults, “Come on, talk. Just talk! Why don’t you talk?”
When Danny's older brother Tim, a member of the 5th grade Bridgewater Badgers football team, told his teammates about the ordeal, they all decided to stand behind their “water coach” Danny – in suits. On November 20, 2013, they organized “Danny Keefe Appreciation Day” and every one of them wore a suit to school that day.
It is inspiring to see these kids supporting Danny so dearly. One hopes that bullying will be eliminated altogether someday.