(CBS Local) — About 50 motorcyclists escorted a sixth-grader to his first day of school Tuesday to help boost his confidence because he was previously bullied.
Phil Mick, 11, of Auburn, Ind., was taken to DeKalb Middle School by bikers from cities including Fort Wayne and Columbia City. The bikers initially gathered at a local restaurant for the motorcade, which was promoted earlier on Facebook, organizer Brent Warfield of KDZ Motorcycle Sales & Service said.
“As a motorcycle community, we don’t want to see children getting bullied, because it leads to teenage suicide,” he told the Associated Press in a phone interview.
Tammy Mick, Phil’s mother, said her son had been bullied to the degree that he felt worthless and would self-deprecating, calling himself stupid.
Warfield said the boy’s story “hit my heart,” so he arranged the first-day-of-school escort after he met Phil’s family during Christmastime last year.
Phil called the bikers his brothers and sisters, and was eager to join the motorcade for his first motorcycle ride, Tammy Mick said. She said Warfield is a “god angel” to Phil.
“I recommend this for any kid who’s being bullied,” Tammy Mick said in a phone interview before Phil returned home from school. “He was all smiles this morning.”
The 50 bikers prayed for Phil before leaving the restaurant to bring Phil to DeKalb Middle School.
The sound of the motorcade was hard to miss when they pulled up to the school, Principal Matt Vince said. He praised the bikers for boosting Phil’s confidence, and said the school looks forward to getting to know them.
“Standing up against bullying – we need more of that,” Vince said. “And they did it in a positive way.”