Indigenous Boy Cuts Hair After Bullying

Indigenous Boy Cuts Hair After Bullying

Posted By Paul G March 12th, 2018 Blog

This indigenous boy cuts his hair due to bullying — but now he's trying to help other kids open up!

From CBC:

A young First Nations boy from Cold Lake, Alta., cut his long hair Saturday after enduring what his family called years of bullying in school.

Mylon McArthur, 8, told his mother Tiya-Marie Large he wanted to cut his hair, which had been long all his life, after feeling overwhelmed from constant bullying at Cold Lake Elementary School.

“He told me he did not want his hair anymore,” said Large. “I cried. His hair is who we are, it's a part of us, it's his language, it's his pride.”

Despite not wanting him to cut his hair and “let the bullies win,” she spotted the opportunity to raise awareness about cultural racism and bullying.

“My son is a very loving, capable, caring person,” said Large. “He was bullied every day, every recess, every out-of-day school program session. He was always sad, he didn't want to go to school. This was affecting his well-being.”




Friday, Mylon and his mother made a video and posted it to Facebook to bring awareness to the significance of long hair in Indigenous cultures.

In the video, Mylon holds up white paper cards with words written on them for his bullies: “You do not define me. You did not beat me. I am not weak. It's OK to have long hair.”

“We told Mylon he was brave, strong and handsome. That we were so proud of him,” said Large.

The video quickly caught on, with more than 51,000 views since being posted. Despite the response, Mylon still chose to cut his hair, said Large.

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TAGGED:    bullying  

Comments

11 thoughts on “Indigenous Boy Cuts Hair After Bullying

  1. My son experienced bullying because of his long hair also. It started in kindergarten. Continued until 2nd grade. On one occasion when he was in 1st grade (he was small for his age), 3 5th grade boys cornered him in the bathroom yelling at him to get out of the boys bathroom, telling him only girls had long hair so he needed to go to the girls’ bathroom. He came home everyday wanting to cut his hair. Unlike you we chose not to let him. Instead we reinforced the reasoning to him behind why his hair was long and also took every opportunity to show him other boys & men, like his father, who had long hair.

    I had gone to the school top talk with teachers, aids, playground supervisors to no avail. Eventually I had to bring it up to the principle. It wasn’t until I threatened to go to the media & tell them of the religious intolerance & bullying taking place at that school until the stopped putting my child in the same class as his main tormentor.

    2 years after the bullying ceased, my son came to me & said he was glad I hadn’t let him cut his hair. And now he truly understands the importance of why he has long hair.

    It is heartbreaking to have your child’s be bullied, especially about their culture. This is a battle many parents & children in our culture face and each must do what’s best for their child.

    There is no wrong choice on this issue.

    • Kimberly says:

      Omg. I am so sorry. My son had the same experience. He came home in tears after realizing what he had done. But he grew it back. And when he joined the army he donated his hair ….

  2. Stephen Godfrey says:

    Where was his teacher and administrators during this time. Surely they must have been aware…unless didn’t care….that he was the subject of ‘bullying.??

    I checked the schools web site and noticed the other boys “all”, whether Indigenous or not had short hair.
    Since this happened last fall, I am curious what if anything was ever resolved. As a retired teacher myself
    I did not tolerate bulling, nor did any other teachers I worked with. Shame this young man was not allowed
    to….be himself.

    SG

  3. Jonell Adams says:

    I am so sorry that your little one had to experience this evilness. First of all, thank you mom for listening to your son and being there for him. That is imperative right now. That was a tough call to make. If he kept his hair, he would have to go to school ALONE and still be teased very bad. To him, it allowed temporary relief from the abusers. Yes, that is who we are and separates us from the rest of the world and we’re proud of it. Helping him to understand other children who were taught this and how sad it is that they themselves don’t realize who they really are. Ensure him that he still can grow his hair and this time stand tall and be proud of it. Build his spirit up. I know first hand what you are going through. You and him will be in my prayers.

  4. karen e. h. naylor says:

    DURING WWII THE INDIAN SOLDIERS JUST HONORED AT THE WHITE HOUSE BY PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR HELPING WIN THE WAR WITH THEIR CODE, KEPT THEIR HAIR LONG BECAUSE IT HELPED THEM TRACK. THE LONG HAIR OF INDIAN MEN AS BEEN A PART OF OUR CULTURE FOREVER. BULLIES ARE COWARDS. THEY TRAVEL IN PACKS LIKE JACKELS OR HYENAS. OUR SOCIETY OFTEN OVERLOOKS THE BULLIES. WHEN I WAS A YOUNG GIRL IF SOMEONE PICKED ON YOU, YOU KNOCKED THEM ON THEIR BUTT AND THAT WAS THE END OF IT. THESE DAYS THEY TELL YOU NOT TO DEFEND YOURSELF AND IF YOU DO YOU ARE THE ONE IN TROUBLE.

  5. Racquel Morales says:

    My heart goes out to your son I’m Omaha tribe of Nebraska I had several nephews go through this we’re is the Justice for us indigenous people and our youth were still fighting even in this year tell him I fight to stop bullying and I will continue to fight for children who need to be safe again god bless and
    Washkon which means be strong 💪🏻 lil one never let them see you defeated

  6. Rhonda says:

    I am so sad to hear this story 😞 It hurts me that that happened to your son. I have always loved and respected Native American Indians. Very strong and proud and loving people. And I am so sad he chose to cut his hair , but I understand he must have had enough . You tell him to pray for those bullies. And one day they will regret there actions and words to him. But they can never take those words they spoke back. Hopefully other kids around will learn from there mistakes. My heart goes out to your son.. and I will also pray for him. With God he can turn something bad into something good. You are a mother who does not deserve to see your son hurt. And neither does he. 😞 I pray your son will find friends who love and respect him for who he truly is.

  7. Ken Zeleny says:

    Mylan is a brave young man and I totally respect his decision. It is tragic that being so bullied he felt compelled to do so.

  8. I do believe that person of any race has the right to wear his or her hair the length you want. It’a crime to bully any person in this world

  9. maria smith says:

    This remind me when my son was 2 years o!d. I have never cut his hair. Being of Cherokee and Lumbee decentants. I was letting my son hair grow long .I had always felt, that boys, young men, and old men should let their hair grow long and always knew they are handsome with long hair. Told my family and husband (German), family , do not cut my son hair or any of my children hair. My husband mother with her German background thought she can do as she like cause this is her son and she is the control of the family. What she fail to understand, is that she can control her family anyway she like as LONG as it don’t interfere with mine. Went to work one day , came home and my 2 year son had a GI hair cut, his beautiful black hair was gone. My son didn’t look the same, I went right to my husband mother home and she and my husband was sitting on the sofa, I look at him (coward) and his mother(smiling in my face). Ask them way they did not repect my wishes. Husband kept quite, his mother said ” my baby boy look like a homosexual with long hair”. I walk right up to her face and told her”you ever cut my son hair again, I have the police on you and put in Newspaper your an child abusier. What she said to my young son at that age, and his father went along with it, my son refused to let his hair grow long. It was years later my son told me why he didn’t want his hair to grow long. His grandmother threaten him and that she would never see me again and his father back his grandmother up. He hated his father for not standing up to his own mother. This boy reminded me of my son don’t at that age. How,x even today people makes one feel guilty for being an True Native of these Americas. People today make these young Natives for Bing who they are. That’s why are history of what’s left is dieing out. That soon, the True Natives (Indians), will be gone, disappeared, Legends gone. All because of hate.

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