Lynchburg, VA - The Appomattox boy allegedly bullied on a bus ride has been offered a unique opportunity.
You may remember, 10-year-old Cequan Morris. Last May, Morris says he was burned with a cigarette lighter and called racial slurs. The two boys Morris says did it have since pleaded guilty. And now one man wants to make sure Morris is never bullied again.
Cequan Morris's brutal bullying story caught fighter Matt Coleman's ear and touched his heart.
"I get sick to my stomach when I hear about the bullying. I don't like it at all, and it seems like it's just getting worse," said Coleman.
For Morris, it has gotten worse. His mom Roxanne Haskins says the emotional trauma from the bullying forced her 10-year-old into the hospital. But, Coleman, a stranger to Morris and his mom, says he can help.
"We just wanted to say, 'Hey, come down here. We're going to make sure this doesn't happen again,'" said Coleman.
Coleman is a mixed-martial arts, or MMA, fighter. He offered Morris weeks of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes at the Renaissance Academy of Martial Arts in Lynchburg - all for free. He says if Morris knew just one or two moves, the bullying would have stopped sooner.
"You don't need to put your hands on anybody. I don't care who you are, where you come from, what you do, what you say to me, you don't put your hands on anybody," said Coleman.
But, one clarification: Coleman's not giving Morris a how-to on throwing a good punch. Jiu-Jitsu, he says, is a gentle art.
"It's not about violence, fighting. It's about protecting yourself, taking control of the situation long enough to get away, and to, ya know, get help," said Coleman.
And ultimately, Coleman hopes the gentle art unleashes a new kind of spirit in Morris.
"It's terrible what happened, but let's make this as positive as we can, let's learn something from it," said Coleman.
Roxanne says her son is very interested in taking Coleman up on his Jiu-Jitsu offer. She says she will be signing Morris up for a class soon.