Casey HeynesBullied teen Casey Heynes has had quite a month since the video in which he retaliated against his bully Ritchard Gale went viral on the Internet. And now Casey speaks out to A Current Affair in Australia and fills in the blanks about the years of bullying that led him to snap against Ritchard.
In the interview, Heynes opens up about the years of bullying he has endured "practically every day" at school. He talks about all the insults about his weight and tells how bullies once duct taped his eyes and then duct taped him to a pole. Probably most heartbreaking, Casey reveals how he felt suicidal after his friends turned against him and he felt completely alone. But that day that Ritchard Gale walked up and punched Casey in the face, he says, "All the anger came out."
However, there's much more than adolescent bullying being revealed in this story.
Watching the events of Casey's story unfold definitely serves as a reminder about all the emotional trauma that is high school. Because of cliques, peer pressure, friendship hierarchies, and hormones, the teen years and high school can be lonely enough for kids who have lots of friends. However, think about all the kids who never fit in, feel completely left out, and how no one ever comes to their rescue against that alienation and loneliness, let alone for teasing or bullying. That pain of feeling alone, with or without the bullying, is almost more excruciating than being punched in the face.
Casey says, "I've never had so much support," and that support, even if it comes from an Internet full of people he'll never meet, helps to validate his story, his experience, and his life in a big way, which is crucial. The message to Casey is: we see what you've gone through, how you have suffered, and it is wrong. And that's probably the best result of this whole situation.
Casey's dad says Casey is "already standing a lot straighter, a lot more proud," and that's the best news yet.
I'm proud of Casey for speaking out about his emotional experience as well as his bullying experience, however painful, because there's hope that another kid out there who can't defend himself is watching and feeling a little less alone because of this solidarity for Casey.
WATCH the Casey Heynes interview for yourself:
Did the interview with Casey Heynes remind you of high school horror stories?
Image via A Current Affair