Native American and First Nations boys all across the continent have suffered a great deal thanks to bullying. Now, an 8-year-old First Nations boy is using his experience to help bring an end to this trend.
Mylon McArthur made a video for social media explaining that he was going to trim his long hair because kids at school had been bullying him.
In the video, he explains that this decision hurt him because his long hair “is who I am.”
"Bullying is NOT okay."— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 25, 2017
This 8-year-old First Nations boy told off his bullies with a powerful message. pic.twitter.com/Fh6OlCfSnj
McArthur’s mom, Tiya-Marié Lärge, shared her son’s video on Facebook, saying that bullying has affected him “[t]o the point where he does not want to be in school.”
“I am not going to force him to have hair anymore and have him continued to be bullied over it. He is proud of who he is. His culture,” she added, but he decided to cut his hair so he wouldn’t be targeted any longer.
In the video, McArthur tells viewers to teach their kids about long hair so other kids like him won’t suffer any longer.
Unfortunately, McArthur’s experience is far from being an isolated incident.
In 2016, a First Nations father launched a campaign called Boys With Braids to raise awareness to the fact many young native kids were being bullied.
But this problem isn't exclusive to Canada.
In August, a young boy from Texas who’s also a Native American was told his hair violated the Barbers Hill Independent School District’s dress code. He was being ordered not to return to his preschool until he shortened his long mane. And even after the boy’s mom provided documentation showing the family was Native American and that the long hair denotes strength in their community, the principal still wouldn’t let the boy keep his long hair while enrolled.
It’s heartbreaking to see young boys suffering bullying because of a cultural trait being misunderstood by the broad population.
It’s time schools bring an end to this trend by helping the community understand the differences between cultures and the importance in celebrating them, not shunning them.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder