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Mom shares powerful message after learning her son had been bullied at school
Choose kindness and respect over judgment, for you never know the details of a persons story. - photo by Jessica Ivins
WEST HAVEN, Conn. Choose kindness and respect over judgment, for you never know the details of a persons story.

Thats the message a Connecticut mother set out to champion after learning her 11-year-old son was being bullied at school, and her powerful words have struck a chord with loved ones and strangers alike.

MaryAnn Parisi was heartbroken to find out that her son, Michael, had been bullied by some of his classmates at a school assembly. The worst part it wasnt a just one-time thing, and Michael told his teacher that he was getting used to it.

That made me feel awful, Parisi told ABC News. It made me very angry because he shouldnt be getting used to it. He should not be OK with it. Bullying is not OK. Its not acceptable and you do not get used to it.

Monday, the frustrated mother took to Facebook to voice her feelings. In a moving post, she shared her sons history in detail, revealing that having been born prematurely at 26 weeks to a birth mother who abandoned him, Michael had suffered some developmental challenges.

He spent the first 3 months of his life fighting to survive, Parisi wrote. He didnt learn to talk until he was 3 years old. He didnt have teeth until after his first birthday. He was so very behind. But he loved. Oh how he loved.

You called him brace face today, and before you were picking on him because of his eating habits, she continued. Did you know he physically cannot control the food staying in his mouth, or how very bad his hand/eye coordination is? Those braces are just one of the many steps he will endure to help align the jaw that never fully developed.

Parisi went on to plead with her sons abusers to stop kicking his chair. To stop calling him names. To stop telling him to shut up. Her hope, she said, is that now that Michaels story is out in the open, theyll have some compassion.

You dont have to like him, but you do have to respect him, she wrote. Hes a fighter, thats a very small portion of his story. Share, teach, grow. Most importantly, respect those around you, you never know what they have been through.

Parisis post inspired an outpouring of support and love from family, friends and strangers. Those who know Michael sent in photos, messages and memories to help cheer him up, according to ABC.

Despite all hes been through, Parisi said one of her sons most special qualities is his resilience something that has pulled him through even the toughest of times.

There is not one person he doesnt like or love, including those who tormented him today, she wrote. He forgives and honestly, he forgets too. There is not one judgmental bone in his body.

But that doesnt mean he doesnt feel pain, hurt and embarrassment, and no form of bullying is acceptable, Parisi said. She said she hopes Michaels story will inspire people to speak to their children about the importance of kindness.

Maybe knowing his background is the difference, she said. Even the best children have moments of insecurity and weakness. Teaching and showing them why he (or anybody else) is different might be the more positive way. Sometimes knowing is learning and growing.
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