The first day of the school year can be daunting, but sixth-grader Phil Mick had a band of bikers by his side.
Over 50 motorcyclists escorted Mick to his first day at DeKalb Middle School on Tuesday — and it was also the boy’s first time on a motorcycle, according to KXAN.
At first, Mick was very secretive about the bullying he endured, his mom Tammy Mick told the Journal Gazette. She suspected that he was being bullied when he came home from school one day with bumps and bruises. He later admitted that people at his school were targeting him because of his weight.
Mick also told Channel 15 news that “people kick me and call me names.”
“I was fire engine-red mad,” Tammy Mick said. “He let them hit him, punch him, everything. He’s not the type to tell somebody.”
But when he admitted to having suicidal thoughts, that’s when Tammy Mick knew she needed some help. So she asked Brent Warfield of KDZ Motorcycle Sales & Service if he could do something to help inspire her son.
Warfield first met with the Mick family around last Christmas, and offered to escort the boy to his first day of school when he heard his story.
“I said, ‘Well get with me. I’ve got a bunch of big-hearted bikers that are good friends of mine,” Warfield said.
Before taking Mick to school, the crew of motorcyclists met with the young boy and his parents for breakfast and said a prayer for the sixth-grader.
Then came Mick’s big arrival.
Matt Vince — the principal of DeKalb Middle School — said the boisterous roar of the motorcycles was impossible to ignore as they descended upon the school, adding that it vibrated off the school’s brick walls.
Vince said he supported the bikers’ cause.
“Standing up against bullying – we need more of that,” Vince said to the Journal Gazette. “And they did it in a positive way.”
Tammy Mick described Warfield as a “god angel” for her son, who she said “was all smiles this morning.”
“I recommend this for any kid who's being bullied,” she said.
Taking a stand against bullying is important for Warfield because he said it can sometimes lead to teen suicide. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for those aged 10 to 14, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with those who are frequently bullied at a higher risk of attempting to take their own life.
“As a motorcycle community, we don't want to see children getting bullied,” he said, “because it leads to teenage suicide.”
“We’re coming together to say enough is enough.”