Newsbeat

Ginger-haired boy writes poem to bullies who told him he should die

Alfie sitting on some steps Image copyright Nyree Coleiro

A 12-year-old boy who was being badly abused for having ginger hair has written a poem to his bullies.

Alfie Coleiro, from Eastbourne, was sent anonymous messages telling him to kill himself, but he responded saying: "Have you not got anything better to do?"

The bullies targeted him on Instagram, PlayStation and on his phone.

They even told him he shouldn't have been born.

"I didn't have a clue he was writing the poem," his dad, Jay, tells Newsbeat.

"He likes to share his emotions through music and stuff like that, so he went upstairs, wrote it and then showed it to me."

In the poem, Alfie tells his bullies they'd made him cry and that not even his home was a safe place.

"It's like I'm stuck in some sort of trap. So I'm not okay, but I will say I'm fine," he writes.

Jay decided to put the poem on Facebook and it's been shared hundreds of times - with people offering their support to Alfie.

"Now he's in newspapers in other countries, we've got radio stations interested. It's a bit surreal really," says Jay.

Alfie has three brothers - two of whom have ginger hair too.

Jay says it means it's important to bring them up to be confident and to stand up for what's right.

"We're small too, we're all very small," he says.

"So, I've had to battle with it as well throughout my life.

"If you don't have confidence you can't really try and attack anything or chase your own dreams."

Image copyright Nyree Coleiro
Image caption Alfie and mum, Nyree

Since the poem was posted the bullying has stopped and Jay says Alfie has received a lot of support.

"He's realised that he's got a lot of love," he goes on.

"The school's been incredible, he's like number one man at school. He's a hit with the girls at the minute," he laughs.

Alfie's mum Nyree says she and Jay are incredibly proud of how their son's dealt with the bullies.

"He hasn't retaliated or lost his confidence, he just literally just wrote down how he felt," she says.

Alfie now wants to inspire other people who're going through the same thing.

"That's what he wants to do, with the whole thing blowing up like this," says Jay.

"Alfie told me: 'I just want other people to know that they don't have to just sit there and take it.'"

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