When the Patterson family relocated to a rural Arizona town, they never imagined that the change would have a negative effect on their son’s social and academic development. As the new kid in town—and one of the smallest children in his new bricks-and-mortar school—their son Beau became a victim of bullying, and soon his grades and his self-confidence began to suffer.
More than 13 million kids will be bullied this year, according to thebullyproject.com. As shown in the controversial and thought-provoking new documentary Bully, recently released in theaters nationwide, the consequences of bullying can be devastating. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concurs; its research proves that young people who are bullied are at a higher risk for depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, physical ailments, truancy, and even suicide.
Now a 14-year-old online high school freshman at Arizona Connections Academy, Beau says he’s glad that his mom found out about virtual schooling. Working in a safe environment at home, he’s improved his grades and feels good about himself again. He’s had the opportunity to meet classmates and make friends through online activities and in-person field trips. Beau also appreciates having a flexible schedule that allows him to play baseball, ride horses, and compete in rodeos. Watch his uplifting story now: