Aussie mom unleashes brutal bullies targeting her son for being in a wheelchair: ‘We have adults attacking him’
- Student Cooper was featured in an Officeworks Back to School commercial
- Commentators poked fun at Cooper’s hair and wheelchair
- Officeworks said it was “disappointed by the cruel comments”.
- His devastated mother shared her response to the comments
A heartbroken mother called cruel internet “trolls” who mocked her son’s haircut and wheelchair after he appeared in an Officeworks ad.
The mum sent a message to Australian journalist and podcaster Jacqueline Felgate after seeing the horrific reaction to her son Cooper’s ad shared by Officeworks on Facebook earlier this month.
“(It’s) 2023 and instead of people seeing the ad for what it’s actually about, we have adults commenting on his hair and his wheelchair,” the mother wrote.
“I had to laugh when someone wrote that he is probably not a wheelchair user.
“He’s just a kid doing what he loves and happens to be a wheelchair user.”
Evil trolls poked fun at the teen’s haircut and wheelchair in comments on Officeworks’ Facebook post
The devastated mother then explained the challenges Cooper faced, saying his teenage friends are more understanding than some adults.
“The 15 surgeries he’s living with doesn’t stop him from achieving great things,” she said.
“His friends see him for who he is, an incredibly fun and super athletic boy who is fantastic to be around.
“In the meantime, we have grown-ups going after him.”
Cooper’s devastated mother shared a message (above) saying her son’s teenage friends are more understanding than the adults who attack him online
Australian journalist and podcaster Jacqueline Felgate highlighted the cruel bullying on her Instagram
Commenters under Ms Felgate’s post flocked to support Cooper and slammed the nasty messages left on the Facebook ad.
“I hope Cooper is okay. Internet trolls are just the worst,” one person wrote.
“Kindness doesn’t come easy for some,” said another.
‘What’s wrong with the people?! Seriously, I’m not sure when insulting and attacking people became acceptable. These are most likely mature adults treating a young man like this,” wrote another.
“Literally every other kid in my kid’s school has a haircut like this. People can say the meanest things,” wrote one commenter.
A fifth said: “I don’t understand why people have to behave like this. I really really don’t.’
WHAT IS ABLEISM?
Ableism is discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities.
It can be used to describe the systematic or personal exclusion and oppression of people with disabilities.
Source: Government of Victoria
Others wrote that the mean comments were an example of ableism and applauded Officeworks’ diverse advertising.
According to Officeworks, the ad was part of a campaign involving 13 students and was “designed to support inclusion so that all children can identify and feel represented.”
“We are deeply disappointed to see some negative and hurtful comments on social media in response to our latest ‘Back to School’ social media ad, which features one of our students in a wheelchair,” said an Officeworks spokesperson .
“Officeworks has zero tolerance for bullying and anti-social behavior.
“Offensive comments have been and will be deleted in accordance with our online community management policy.
“With the support of the families affected, our campaign will continue and promote diversity and inclusion in our community while supporting children and families across Australia as they prepare for the new school year.”