As Brody Ridder’s fellow classmates were signing each other’s yearbooks, no one was coming up to sign his. Some even straight up told the 12-year-old boy “no.”
Brody, dejected that his classmates had alienated him, wrote to himself in his yearbook, “Hope you make some more friends. — Brody Ridder,” he told the Washington Post in an interview. In the end, “only two classmates, two teachers and himself” had signed the 12-year-old student’s yearbook, the Post noted.
Cassandra Ridder, Brody’s mom, told the Post that Brody had been having challenges with other students socially, even “repeatedly” experiencing bullying.
Heartbroken that no one had signed her son’s yearbook, Cassandra took to Facebook and shared her pain with a private group of parents whose children attend the Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado.
“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like things are getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook. Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it,” Cassandra shared in the Facebook group, which she showed NBC Today. “So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”
The next day on May 25, while Brody was sitting in class, high school students suddenly appeared at the classroom door.
“Is Brody Ridder in here?” high school student Simone Lightfoot told KDVR when recounting the event. “And they’re like, yeah he’s in the back, and we’re like Brody! We’re here to sign your yearbook bud.”
While Lightfoot had gathered some of her fellow classmates to join in signing Brody’s yearbook, the 11th grader was not the only one organizing to make Brody’s day, as dozens of other students were lining up to sign. “Some even played “rock, paper, scissors” to see who could sign first,” she said to KDVR.
Even Brody’s classmates, who initially did not want to sign his yearbook, got in line to write something to their fellow classmate, the Post noted.
By the end, the 12-year-old’s yearbook had the signature of over 100 people, including some writing lengthy notes of affirmation.
Some of the written notes were shared with NBC:
Brody — you are the kindest little kid. You are so loved. Don’t listen to the kids that tell you different.
Brody — I hope you have an amazing summer! You’re worth it and you matter!
The acts of kindness have not stopped there, as some upper class students who came to Brody’s classroom that day have promised to be his friend, even already grabbing ice cream with him.
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