Fifth Graders Pledge to Protect ‘Special Needs’ Boy on the Playground

Fifth Graders Pledge to Protect ‘Special Needs’ Boy on the Playground

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“The James Gang” is officially patrolling the jungle gym at a Mankato, Minnesota elementary school, protecting one “special needs” boy from any more bullying.

When a group of James Willmert’s fifth-grade classmates saw that he was being teased at recess last fall, they made a pact to have his back, all year long.

Their teacher believes the school’s anti-bullying curriculum factored into the boys’ actions and resulted in kindness that has gone far beyond the classroom.

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The boy, adopted from an orphanage in Colombia, now plays sports with his five new friends after school – an activity he’s never enjoyed before.

They even pitched in money to buy him a Playstation gaming system.

“He used to not want to go out for recess or anything, it would be like a struggle,” James’ mom told KARE-11 News. “And now he can barely eat his lunch to get outside to play with those guys.”

(WATCH the video above or READ the story from KARE-TV – *NOTE* the page auto-plays, so adjust your speakers)

File photo on homepage by Gonzalo Díaz Fornaro, CC

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