Five Boys Made A Pact After Seeing A Boy Get Bullied. What They Do For Him Is Amazing

June 2, 2015

When James Willmert was picked on at school, five 5th grade boys decided to have his back for the school year.

5th graders stand up for boy against bully
Photo: Boyd Huppert, KARE

James has a learning disability, which makes him an easy target for bullies.

5th graders stand up for boy against bully
Photo: Boyd Huppert, KARE

"Why pick on someone," 5th grader Jack Pemble begins to ask, as his friend Jake Burgess finishes his question, "who has special needs?"

Jack and Jake saw James being teased on the playground, even though James is not in their class. They decided right then and there to have James' back, and three more friends - Gus, Tyler, and Landon - joined the gang.

Every day at lunch, the five boys invite James to their table.

5th graders stand up for boy against bully
Photo: Boyd Huppert, KARE

"He used to not want to go out for recess or anything, it would be like a struggle," says Margi Willmert, James' mom. "And now he can barely eat his lunch to get outside to play with those guys."

When playing football, they always make sure James gets more than his share of carries - as well as several touchdowns.

5th graders stand up for boy against bully
Photo: Boyd Huppert, KARE

The boys learned that James was adopted from an orphanage in Colombia and that six years later his new father passed away in a bicycle accident. Since James doesn't have a father to throw a ball to him, the boys have been glad to take on that role.

"They're changing him," says James' mom. "We just got a basketball hoop last week because he now loves basketball."

5th graders stand up for boy against bully
Photo: Boyd Huppert, KARE

And they're still not done.

When the boys found out James didn't own a video game system, they pitched in with their own money to buy him a brand new Playstation.

James' mom said it was the first time friends from school had ever come over to play with him.

good news

After being nominated by their teacher, Mankato Area Public Schools honored the five boys with its Spirit of Youth Award - a well-deserved award for such outstanding young gentlemen.

5th graders stand up for boy against bully
The James gang / KARE

"All these guys are the best friends that anybody could ask for," James said in a group hug. "I love you guys."

Credit: KARE.

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