After having the account reported and removed, a protective mother who was tired of receiving hateful comments about her child with special needs decided to write a letter to the troll who called her son names.
Parents have a responsibility to raise their children as best they can, and this typically shows in the results. This time-tested task becomes slightly more difficult and delicate when dealing with children who have unique needs.
Because her son Quinn had Down syndrome, Megan Mennes from Houston, Texas, was aware of how complicated it may be to accommodate such children.
When she came upon a harsh comment she could not ignore, she drafted a letter and posted it online to reprimand the offending individual.
While some parents may occasionally find raising a child with special needs to be difficult, Mennes was completely at ease with her son’s disease since she had accepted it.
Despite Quinn having Down syndrome, his mother was proud of him; in fact, the caring mother maintained a blog devoted to Quinn and his condition.
There, she posts images, discusses his struggles as he grew older, and over time, she grew accustomed to hearing ignorant trolls make derogatory remarks about her child.
She was affected by the comments, but she had already made the decision earlier in her life that she would not let them burden her. In her letter, she stated:
“Even if they are hurtful, these remarks just serve to demonstrate the ignorance motivated by hate, and they are not worth my time. I cringe as I read them, but I know there isn’t much I can do to stop such foolishness.”
Mennes snapped a picture of her son one day as he was relaxing in their lawn and wearing a smile.
She took the shot, the adoring mother claimed, because it made her happy. Prior to that day, her son had been ill and had only recovered enough to manage a heartwarming smile.
She posted the photo to social media as normal, but the pleased mother soon became annoyed by one particular comment. There was only one word, “Ugly,” and that was it.
After caring for her child for some time, Mennes developed a thick skin to withstand the insults and jibes that were practically expected when posts about people with Down syndrome were made.
On April 14, 2014, she sent a lengthy open letter addressed to the troll whose account had been suspended as a result of her reporting it because she believed it was her obligation to voice her opinion.
In the letter that she posted on her blog, Mennes stated, “The fact that you find my child ugly is one thing.” The adoring mother also acknowledged that the troll had a right to express his ideas, but that it was completely “childish” and “sad” of him to repeat the same behavior beneath posts that included the Down syndrome hashtag.
Mennes claimed that she reported the account because it was one thing to make a derogatory comment beneath a chance internet post, but quite another to purposefully seek for comments of that nature. She penned:
“It won’t be the last time someone makes fun of him, but to go out of your way to target real individuals is beyond terrible. It is cruel.”
She claimed that the troll’s profile was replete with insulting and harmful remarks that only served to highlight his ignorance.
After telling him what was on her mind, she signed off the letter with the phrase “A Proud Mama” to make it obvious how proud she felt of her place in her son’s life.
When the letter was made public, it quickly went viral and attracted a lot of support from those who could not believe what Mennes had described.
Many were furious on her behalf and commended her for handling the situation so maturely and not allowing the derogatory remarks to overwhelm her.
Mennes was affected by the outpouring of sympathy, and at some time she made the decision to send a briefer letter to thank internet users for their support. She penned: “I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am; I wish I had time to personally reply to every one of your letters, but due to the tremendous outpouring of support, this is simply impossible.”
Mennes, who had undoubtedly been re-energized by the outpouring, requested them all to take her letter as a giant hug in appreciation for their sympathy. Her experience serves as evidence that online haters and trolls are only truly harmful when they are permitted to do so.
Mennes chose to rebuke the troll by pointing out his foolishness in a highly controlled manner rather than agonizing over her words because she refused to take responsibility for the way the troll thought.