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 meet up over the summer. But that wasn’t Brody Ridder’s experience. This 12-year-old boy was in tears one day when his mom picked him up from school. Why? No one signed his yearbook.
Heartbreak for a Boy and His Mom When No One Signed His Yearbook
Westminster, Colorado mom, Cassandra Ridder picked up her usually cheerful son on May 24th, 2022, and she knew something was wrong. Brody, a sixth grader, was in tears, and he didn’t want to talk at first.
Ridder told the Today show that, ““He just wanted to listen to music.”
But Ridder knew that Brody would have his yearbook in-tow because the school had alerted parents by email that kids would be bringing home their yearbooks that day. She wondered if he’d gotten a lot of signatures or nice messages.
Unfortunately, the boy was in tears because no one signed his yearbook.
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.”
This mom’s heart sank as she thought of what a great kid she knew he was.
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.”
According to Ridder, her son let her look at the yearbook after that, and all she saw was a couple teachers’ notes, and a couple other names. There was also one other note from someone she hadn’t expected–her son, Brody.
“He’d written a note to himself,” she said. “It read, ‘I hope you make some more friends,’ and he signed his own name.”
Ridder was pretty upset that no one signed his yearbook, and she described that instance as her breaking point. So she took to the school’s Facebook group, specifically for parents of kids at the school.
She’d known Brody was having trouble making friends. The kids at his school had teased him for being very thin and for hears sticking out. And his interests, such as dinosaurs, fencing, and chess, aren’t like many of the other kids’ interests. According to Ridder, he would have to play alone at recess and he had no one to sit with at lunch. No wonder the boy was in tears after the yearbook incident.
Ridder explained, “He’s super intellectual and the kids in his age group have trouble relating to him.”
Going on, she shared, “He cries to me pretty much every day.”
In her Facebook post, the mom 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,” including a image. Explaining the image, she said, “So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”
By the next day, kids from both the middle school and high school had responded.
That’s when news outlets all over the state of Colorado and across the country picked up the story because of how many other kids responded in support of Brody.
Brody’s mom admitted that she hadn’t thought the Facebook post would have done much. But it did a lot.