Boy bullied for rare bone disease finds comfort in new online school

Originally aired on WBRC-TV – July 29, 2017

Twelve-year-old Noah Uptain is scheduled to have surgery this October for his medical condition.

Uptain considers himself unique but not everyone at his old school understood that.

Jasper native Noah Uptain looks like your average seventh-grade boy.

He enjoys physical activity.

However, he can’t participate in contact sports due to his medical state. Uptain said kids at his old school made fun of him because of it.

“They pushed me down hills and kicked me in the knees,” said Uptain.

His mom Mandy Baker reported the bullying but it didn’t stop and her son was miserable.

“When he would come home he said mom I’m tired of it, I’m tired of it,” said Baker.

On top of dealing with the harassment, Uptain was battling the effects of a disease called fibroxanthoma, which causes the bone to deteriorate. Noah has had eight surgeries already.

“The first one was when he was 2 he had reconstruction of his ankle,” said Baker.

Uptain said Kids continued to pick on him, pointing out his scars and constantly kicking his legs

“No matter what I’d done they’d bully me for some reason,” said Uptain.

His mom had enough. She heard about Alabama Virtual Academy, an online public school authorized by the Alabama Department of Public Instruction and the Eufaula City Schools and decided to enroll him.

“I used to not like science now I like science,” said Uptain.

Now Noah is excited about school again since he can focus without bullies distracting him.

Baker said she’s seen positive changes in her son. Noah shares this advice to other kids dealing with their own struggles at school.

“Always keep moving ahead and stay strong,” said Uptain.

To learn more about Alabama Virtual Academy, visit https://alva.k12.com/

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