On Friday, a video of a 9-year-old schoolboy Quaden Bayles, who suffers from Achondroplasia – a form of dwarfism, became viral in which the kid was seen crying in distress over being bullied at his school. Bullied at school for his dwarfism, Quaden Bayles sobs uncontrollably in the back of his mother’s car saying to the camera, “Give me a knife, I want to kill myself.”
A woman named Yarraka Bayles, claiming to be Quaden’s mother posted the clip of her son, Quaden, crying after he was targeted at school for his dwarfism.
“This is what bullying does,” she says in the video, in which her son also says he wants to end his life.
“I want to kill myself.”
— AJ+ (@ajplus) February 21, 2020
As soon as the video went viral, support poured in for Bayles from a number of celebrities and social media users who not only condemned the bullying but also raised funds in support of him worth $300,000. The clip, viewed over 14 million times, had triggered an outpouring of support across the world.
However, several social media users questioned the authenticity of the video and raised suspicion over Bayles’s story. They claimed that Quaden was actually 18 years old and that he was scamming the internet for money.
The proponents of this claim, however, offered little in terms of proof to prove that Bayles was indeed 18-year-old. In fact, the biggest piece of supporting evidence came as a photograph of the 9-year-old boy standing next to the number 18. The photographs supposedly showing the 9-year-old boy in more adult poses were also spread online.
Is Quaden Bayles really an 18-year-old?
A video dated 2015, however, rejects all the conspiracy theories of Bayles being an 18-year-old scam artist. According to the video, Bayles was in the media spotlight due to a previous bullying incident.
In the video, his mom Yarraka, who has been involved in a Dwarfism Awareness not-for-profit organization since 2014, speaks to the media, where she states that her son was just four-year-old.
In 2015, Quaden had also appeared on the Australian docuseries, Living Black. The show centred on indigenous Australian people as Quaden is Aboriginal. In the series, Quaden is said to be a 4-year-old boy. The episode was released in 2015, which would confirm Quaden’s age to be 9-years by now.
With these videos surfacing, it is extremely unlikely that the claims of Quaden being an 18-year-old scamming the internet hold any water.