In a heartfelt defense of her brother, a Lexington, South Carolina, woman took to Facebook to vent after a teen bully tried to ruin her brother’s prom night experience.
Adrianna Kleckley McCullar called out a teen girl and her friends for picking on her brother Reuben, whom she called “a self declared local celebrity,” after probably one of the best nights of his life.
McCullar described the event on Facebook. She said she and Reuben were at a restaurant Friday, Feb. 9, after they had attended the Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine prom for people with special needs, which was hosted at Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church.
According to WLTX 19, a group of teenage girls, provoked by one particular girl, made it an uncomfortable experience after Reuben turned around and smiled at her. In an interview with the news station, McCullar explained that, “when other people laugh, Reuben loves to laugh,” but when he did this that night, the girls started snickering at him.
This prompted McCullar’s Facebook post.
Dear Clueless Teenage Girl,When you came in the restaurant tonight I’m sure you didn’t plan to be a bully. You…
To the teen, McCullar wrote:
When you came in the restaurant tonight I’m sure you didn’t plan to be a bully.
You probably didn’t even realize at first that the man you were picking on had Special Needs, but when you did and you still encouraged your friends to turn around and join you in staring & laughing at him- you became one. The man you mocked tonight is my brother, Reuben.
Reuben was wearing a crown that night, and apparently the teen and her friends thought this too was funny because McCullar wrote:
The crown he was wearing tonight was from Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine Prom. And while it may not mean anything to you, the crown reminded me as his sister that Reuben is celebrated & valued by an army of people. These same people see past a label & a disability, into the heart of who he IS- a child of God.
Rather than wish ill upon the girl in her post, McCuller said she felt a need to explain to the bully, and others, that her brother is a person— just like “you are.” And she wanted to use the bad experience as an opportunity to enlighten the world on why Rueben is “The World’s Coolest Brother.”
In her post addressed, “Dear Clueless Teenage Girl,” McCullar took the time to explain Reuben’s situation, in hope that the girls and others would learn from this event.
My hope is that someone shares this post so that somewhere out there, an adult will have an educated conversation with their child, sibling, niece, nephew or friend about accepting & understanding those with Special Needs. I think if you could ask every person who attended tonight’s Prom- they’d be able to share something interesting they learned about their buddy tonight.
According to McCuller, Reuben is an “awesome,” lively, diehard baseball fan who loves to laugh so much he probably didn’t even realize the teens were making fun of him.
My brother LOVES to laugh- and other than baseball, it is his favorite past time. It is not unusual for him to become interested in other people who are doing what he enjoys- laughing. For this, I am grateful because he didn’t even realize you were making fun of him. He sat and smiled his handsome smile and paid your behavior no attention whatsoever.
McCullar also did one last thing before she ended her post— she prayed for the girl who mocked her brother.
So my dear girl, the point of my story is this- I am going to pray for you tonight.
I am going to pray that one day your heart is touched by someone with Special Needs. I am going to pray that if you become a parent, you won’t ever have to sit & listen to a doctor or specialist tell you all of the things your child won’t be able to do because of a diagnosis or disability. But mostly, I am going to pray that you heard me when I said, “Don’t worry Rube, she just doesn’t realize how awesome you are”.
Commenters praised her response:
According to an interview with WLTX, McCullar said, “Reuben wears hearing aids, so he talks a little different than other people do.” She added that “he has a metabolic disorder that caused brain damage when he was a baby.”
She said the disorder made Reuben “different” but “not less.” And this doesn’t stop Reuben and others like him from sharing his uniqueness and love with others.
McCullar admitted she was disappointed the teens didn’t know how to interact with an adult with a disability, but she hoped her post would illuminate the reality—people with disabilities are special in their own way.
According to the The State, “McCullar happily reported” that Reuben is still wearing his crown despite of the unfortunate incident.
Her Facebook post, shared more than 26,000 times, received overwhelming support. There’s no doubt she touched massive amounts of people when she reminded folks that it’s not okay to make fun of people with special needs.