6th Grade Boy Came Home in Tears After No One Signed His Yearbook–Then Some Older Kids Stepped Up and Changed Everything
No one signed his yearbook.
The end of the school year is supposed to be an exciting time with friends. Kids sign each other’s yearbooks and make plans to get together over the summer. But that was not the experience of Brody Ridder. This 12-year-old boy was in tears one day when his mother picked him up from school.
On May 24, Cassandra Ridder’s 12-year-old son, Brody, was not his own cheerful self.
Ridder told the Today show that, “He just wanted to listen to music.”
But Ridder knew that Brody would have his yearbook in hand, because the school had alerted parents by email that children would be bringing home their yearbooks that day.
Ridder asked Brody, a sixth grader in Westminster, Colorado, about his yearbook. Unfortunately, the boy was in tears because no one signed his yearbook.
Brody’s eyes filled with tears.
Ridder shared, “He said that he’d asked the kids in his class if they would sign his yearbook and some flat-out said no.”
According to Ridder, her son let her look at the yearbook after that, and all she saw were notes from a couple of teachers, and other names. There was also another note from someone she had not expected – her son Brody.
She explained, “A couple of his classmates jotted down their names — but there were no messages. There was nothing about how smart, funny and awesome he is.”
She said that Brody’s classmates don’t really understand his interests.
She knew that Brody was having trouble making friends. The kids at his school had teased him because he is “extremely thin” and because “his ears stick out.” And his interests, such as chess, fencing, and dinosaurs, are not like many of the other kids’ interests.
According to Ridder, he would have to play alone on the playground and had no one to sit with at lunch. No wonder the boy was in tears after the yearbook incident.
Ridder was quite upset that no one signed his yearbook, and described that instance as his breaking point. Thus, Cassandra Ridder posted on her Facebook page for her son Brody’s school after the children refused to sign his yearbook.
On May 24, Ridder reached her breaking point. That night, she posted on the school’s Facebook page for parents.
In her Facebook post, the mother wrote:
“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like things are getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook. Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it,” Ridder wrote. “So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”
That’s when news outlets across the state of Colorado and across the country picked up the story because of how many other kids had responded in support of Brody.
Kids from both middle school and high school had responded.
“Facebook this,” he wrote, alongside a picture of yearbook filled with messages and signatures.
“He had messages from eighth graders and even 11th graders,” Ridder said. “Brody’s exact words to me were, ‘This is the best day ever.’ Some kids even put their phones for Brody to contact them.”
And those kids who went out of their way to fill Brody’s yearbook with encouraging messages really made Brody’s day.
“Hey dude, you’re freaking awesome. Stay that way.”
“Brody — you are the kindest little kid. You are so loved. Don’t listen to the kids that tell you different.”
“Brody — I hope you have an amazing summer! You’re worth it and you matter!”
“Hey buddy, never change, never put your head down.”
Ridder said that children who had previously refused to write in Brody’s yearbook were suddenly “lining up” to sign.
Brody can’t stop smiling-he’s already talking about how excited he is about seventh grade.
These kids who stood up are wonderful examples to us, and to our children, of loving our neighbors like our twelve