LINCOLN HEIGHTS (CBSLA.com) — A 13-year-old boy on a mission to banish bullying from schools brought his message to students in the Southland Tuesday.
Jaylen Arnold was born with Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes repetitive involuntary movements and sounds, called “tics.”
“I got bulled in school at a young age and it hurt me a lot,” he said. “And I wasn’t the only one getting bullied, my friends were too.”
Instead of letting bullies get the best of him, Jaylen is taking the fight across the country to educate other kids about the pain bullying can cause.
“There were kids getting bullied worse than me, and they’re taking unthinkable ends to themselves, just because of what someone says or does,” said Jaylen.
The movement is catching on, with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio even wearing Jaylen’s trademark yellow and blue wristbands in support.
Actor Dash Mihok, who also has Tourette syndrome, now travels with Jaylen to help him spread the message of acceptance.
“I was bullied, but I never had the courage or the fortitude to speak up,” Mihok said. “So Jaylen was an inspiration to me, and I looked up to him, and I wished I could be that brave when I was a kid.”
Jaylen has made it his life’s mission to save others from becoming targets, and to help bullies see how their actions and words profoundly impact other kids.
“Life is too precious for you to want to commit suicide, or for you to hurt yourself, or for you to feel worthless because of one or two others’ words on you,” he said.
Los Angeles was the final stop on Jaylen’s anti-bullying tour. For more information about Jaylen, or to find out how you can help, go to jaylenschallenge.org.