QUINCY -- A Quincy mother and her son are trying to raise money to bring an anti-bullying speaker to the area.
Diane Beers said she has seen firsthand the effects bullying can have on a child. Beers pulled her son Connor from school, she said, because he was being bullied by his peers.
"He started out the school year getting good grades, and by the middle, he was failing," she said.
Connor said he wants to help other students who might be experiencing the same thing.
"I don't want anyone else to ever go through what I went through," he said after his mother noted that he has since become "a totally different kid."
The family is selling blue bracelets for $1 that say, "Every seashell has a story." Blue is Connor's favorite color. The adage comes from a poem written by Connor's grandmother, Linda Beers, with the same title. The poem is about accepting the differences of others.
"Just because you're different doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you," Linda Beers said.
They need to raise $1,500 to cover travel costs to bring Steph Carse, a musician and motivational speaker, to Quincy to promote his "Y i Count" program. A nonprofit organization, Y i Count's mission is to empower members of the next generation by helping them find their identity and their place in the world, and to help them celebrate their differences.
Carse, who was bullied as a boy, spoke at Union United Methodist Church in 2016 and Quincy Notre Dame High School in 2017. In a letter posted on Yicount.org, QND Principal Mark McDowell describes Carse as "a powerful witness for students of all ages."
"I wish for everyone to fully understand the power of words and the repercussion they have in our own life," Carse wrote on the website.
The Beers family had raised about $250 by last week. If it can raise $1,500, Carse will spend one week in Quincy and speak to as many schools across the region in that week as possible, Diane Beers said. The Beerses can be reached on the Facebook page, "Every Seashell Has a Story by Connor Beers."