A family was left shaken after receiving a letter addressed to their disabled eight year-old daughter calling the youngster ‘retarded and mean.’ Brooke and Travis Bender opened the envelope at their home in Savage, Minnesota on Monday expecting a birthday invite for their eight year-old daughter Aubrey – only to get an extremely nasty surprise.
The full note, typed-up in block capitals said: ‘KEEP YOUR RETARDED GIRL AWAY FROM SCHOOL. KIDS THINK SHE IS MEAN.’ Aubrey has a genetic disorder called Cornelia De Lange syndrome, meaning she is small for her age, and struggles with social cues.
Hitting back at the cruel comments, Brooke said: ‘(Aubrey’s) super friendly. It doesn’t matter if you’re a stranger, she walks right up to you she says hi. Everyone who walks by our street she says hi.’
And sharing her horror at the note’s contents, the shell-shocked mom continued: ‘Initially it was shock, I didn’t know if it was a joke–then I realized that there’s no way somebody would make a joke about that.
‘I think for the past few days it’s been moving from shock to sadness to anger and just sad still.’
The handwritten envelope was stamped, but did not have a return address, with the Benders left stumped as to who may have sent the hateful missive.
They have approached their local police station, as well as Aubrey’s school to ask staff there to keep an eye on any potential bullying when classes resume.
The Benders also spoke to KARE in the hope of sharing just how damaging such anonymous bullying can be.
Travis said that he and Brooke get some relief from knowing Aubrey is oblivious to the note.
He explained: ‘The beautiful thing about it is that she doesn’t understand it.
‘So for us, it’s hurting us more than it is her. Like Brooke had said, whether you’re laughing at her or with her, she doesn’t care – she’s laughing.’
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