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The Carthage Press
  • Bikers Against Child Abuse rally for bullying victim

  • A large crowd numbering well more than 100 rallied in Carterville on Sunday afternoon to voice opposition to school bullying – and support for a Webb City teenager who was badly beaten in an alleged bullying incident at his bus stop.
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  • A large crowd numbering well more than 100 rallied in Carterville on Sunday afternoon to voice opposition to school bullying – and support for a Webb City teenager who was badly beaten in an alleged bullying incident at his bus stop.
    Many of those gathered at the rally, held on Fountain Street north of Main Street, wore pink as a show of solidarity with 14-year-old Brett Demery, a student at Webb City Junior High.
    “It’s a manly color,” Demery told the group.
    Demery wore a pink cast covered in signatures from well-wishers. He broke his arm in the attack, and also suffered injuries to his head. His mother, Anita, spoke to the crowd and offered encouragement to victims of bullying. In addition to Demery, others who have experienced bullying were recognized.
    More than a dozen members of Bikers Against Child Abuse arrived during the rally and offered to help Demery and others feel safe from future attacks.
    According to the group’s mission statement, Bikers Against Child Abuse exists “as a body of bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live. We stand ready to lend support to our wounded friends by involving them with an established, united organization.”
    Working in conjunction with local and state officials, the organization attempts to “send a clear message to all involved with the abused child that this child is part of our organization, and that we are prepared to lend our physical and emotional support to them by affiliation, and our physical presence. We stand at the ready to shield these children from further abuse.”
    BACA does not condone the use of violence or physical force.
    The group provided Demery with a vest and BACA patch sewn on the back, which members all signed, and several other gifts. He was also provided with contact information for two members who live close to him. They will provide him with reassurance that he is safe and protected if he feels the need.
    “Our mission is not to be permanently engaged as the child’s power,” according to the organization. “Our mission is to help the children and their families learn how powerful they can be. Our presence will be available as long as the child needs us.”
    Demery got an up-close look at several motorcycles ridden by members, and will be able to go for a ride with them when he is fully healed from his injuries.
    School and law enforcement officials have been notified of the alleged attack.

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