Barber Josh Neufeld gives a cut to a gentleman on one of Riot Brewing’s beer and haircut nights. Neufeld cut the hair of a bullied boy recently and has gained a lot of attention at Victory Barber & Brand for his willingness to help charities and those in need. (Victory Barber & Brand photo)

Barber Josh Neufeld gives a cut to a gentleman on one of Riot Brewing’s beer and haircut nights. Neufeld cut the hair of a bullied boy recently and has gained a lot of attention at Victory Barber & Brand for his willingness to help charities and those in need. (Victory Barber & Brand photo)

Sarah Simpson Column: Duncan barber a cut above school bullies

My husband texted me from work the other day.

“Can you believe we have two children?”

I laughed out loud.

What he couldn’t see was that I was at home trying to write a news story while one of those miracle spawns of ours was sitting next to me and kicking my thigh in a brazen attempt to distract my attention just enough for her to steal my lunch.

“Oh I can believe it,” I replied as I gave up and handed my child my lunch.

Some might call that being a martyr. I call it being a mom.

Eventually I got my story written and even got to eat the scraps of my own lunch.

Yes, I can believe we have two children?

They never let me forget it. In fact, I wish I could remember more. I don’t want the events of their births, all of their firsts, the milestones, the daily chatter, their silly little habits, bizarre dance move, how they smell, their soft flawless skin and the dimples in their knuckles, their conversations with each other, and so many more memories to fade away.

They say once you become a mother your heart begins to beat outside of your body. I know exactly what “they” mean. Every skinned knee, every vomit, every fever, every tear, every bruise and every bad day, I feel it in my soul. I can only imagine how one area mom felt when her autistic child came home from school earlier this month, traumatized after being bullied.

In an unbelievable act of cruelty, the bullies had shaved/cut off parts of the child’s hair.

Let’s not focus on the bullies, though. Let’s focus on the helpers.

Victory Barber & Brand was called to see if they could squeeze the young man into their often booked-up scheduled and barber Josh Neufeld made space.

According to a friend of the young boy’s mother, the barbershop “went out of their way to make him feel handsome. They got him in right away and were so kind to do it for free. They refused to take any money.”

At some point the positive experience got posted to Facebook and news of Victory’s kindness began to spread.

Neufeld was super stunned by the response.

“I’m extremely surprised over the overwhelmingly positive response by the community over the whole situation,” he said. “We have had multiple people coming into the shop to thank us and try and pay for his haircut. To me this act of kindness isn’t really anything out of the ordinary, I was just doing two things I love, helping someone out and cutting hair.”

Neufeld said in addition to just wanting to do the right thing, he had personal reasons for helping the boy.

“As for the bullying, I could go on and on about this topic as it hits close to home. I think parents need to sit down and talk with their children about it,” Neufeld said. “It is something that happens to people of all walks of life and social classes and it’s not acceptable.”

My heart breaks for the poor mom who had to console her bullied child.

“I can’t even explain how I felt when I first found out,” she said. “It’s truly heartbreaking watching something like this happen to your first born when all he wants is to be accepted and to have friends. This hasn’t been our first incident this school year, unfortunately, with my son being a target of bullying.”

What’s more. She’s still seeking answers from the school.

“I’m hoping whoever is responsible for doing this to my son will be brought to justice and this gives others more awareness out there of the bullying occurring especially our special needs children,” said the mom.

My heart also breaks for the mothers who had to perhaps swallow their disappointment and sit their children down to scold them for being a bullies. I don’t believe any mom raises her kid to be a jerk.

My heart, though, has been filled by the mom of the barber, who clearly raised her son to be a good, compassionate man. And to Victory Barber & Brand, for righting a wrong and turning a bad news story into a good one.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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Barber Josh Neufeld cut the hair of a bullied boy recently and has gained a lot of attention at Victory Barber & Brand for his willingness to help charities and those in need. (Victory Barber & Brand photo)

Barber Josh Neufeld cut the hair of a bullied boy recently and has gained a lot of attention at Victory Barber & Brand for his willingness to help charities and those in need. (Victory Barber & Brand photo)

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