An 11-year-old boy is so distraught by the negative publicity from a case of cyber bullying that he has spoken about no longer wanting to live.
Keishawn Thomas who is at the centre of a cyber bullying video that went viral on social media within the last 24 hours just wants to get away from the embarrassment.
His mother Keisha Thomas who told Barbados TODAY it hurts to the core to hear her child tell her he wants to commit suicide said she is now in the process of seeking counselling for boy.
“I don’t feel like staying around anymore. I don’t want to be living anymore,” a tearful Keishawn told Barbados TODAY during an interview at his St Michael home as his mother sat at his side.
“The Prime Minister makes mistakes, lawyers make mistakes, I am only 11, and I am still a child. And I made my mistake and I corrected it,” he added.
In a video posted on Barbados TODAY’s social media platforms on Tuesday following this year’s 11-Plus Examination, Keishawn made a mistake while speaking about his four-hour-long experience, but immediately made the correction.
However, the video was edited by an individual or individuals to only
highlight the mistake Keishawn made and not the correction. That clip has since gone viral.
“I feel bad about it due to the fact that he now came out of the exam and he was so fussy to speak to the media. Mistakes do happen, but it is affecting him because he is seeing the comments and his friends messaging him making laughing sport at him and he is telling me that he feels bad about it and how it will make him feel when he goes back to school.
“So it is really bothering him and it is bothering me. I have spoken to somebody about getting counselling for him and they have said okay. He is starting counselling tomorrow,” Thomas said.
The mother of two does not blame Barbados TODAY for what has taken place, considering that the media company posted the full video.
“And when I look at the comments of the people on Barbados TODAY, they weren’t as bad as TBC news and White Collar Crime. I am just going to wait and see if they will take it down, or if they are going to continue with it, making sport at him. If that is the case, then I will have to seek legal action because it is really affecting him. I tried to avoid letting him see it, but it is his phone I am using and he has access to the phone.”
Thomas said she has since deleted some of Keishawn’s friends from his WhatsApp contact list because they were also being unkind to him.
Keishawn said he is hoping to pursue secondary education at Coleridge and Parry or St Leonard Boys.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by Barbados TODAY, said the company abhors the abuse of any of its material and intends to pursue legal action against those responsible for so cruelly misusing and circulating its material, in violation of the Computer Misuse Act. The police has been notified.
“We again thank the youngster who so graciously gave of his time and attention to share an insight into an important experience in his life. It is his earnestness, his decency and his sincerity that ought to be a lesson to us all.
“His act of self-correction gave us a glimpse into his character on which the future of our nation can confidently rest; those who would use information honestly presented as a weapon of wanton mental cruelty have told us who they really are,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, hundreds have commented on Barbados TODAY’s social media pages, and elsewhere, condemning the actions which many have described as mischievous and unkind.
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