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Missouri teenager Dalton Frank is brought to the funeral by Anti-Bullying Trucks

Unless you saw the casket on the flatbed trailer in front, you might think that Monday’s convoy of more than 200 trucks in central Missouri was a political statement of some kind.

But the long procession on Highway 54 from Eugene to Jefferson City honors a 13-year-old boy named Dalton Frank, who loved trucks and often told his uncle he wanted to be part of the motorcade coming in. someday.

The uncle, Carey Frank, 33, led the way in his big, flashy Peterbilt with the boy’s father by his side. The only message that Carey and his trucking colleagues are trying to convey is disturbing bullying behavior, which is what they say prompted the 8th grader to take his own life on Sunday. February 14th.

“This is just about a 13-year-old boy being bullied,” Carey told The Daily Beast. “It has nothing to do with politics.”

He added, “It’s like truckers against bullying.”

If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Message Line crisis by texting TALK to 741741

The boy also enjoys sports and hanging out with his friends and cousins ​​and he is an active member of Future Farmers of America. He is a talented artist, but he shows it by drawing large semi-periods as if it were still his great and enduring passion.

Carey told The Daily Beast: “He’s been around trucks all his life. “He lived and breathed it.”

He dreamed he curled up in a big, rumbling stream of them.

“He always told me he wanted to be part of the convoy,” recalls Carey. “I said, ‘It’s not just something that happens every day.”

Carey noted that he himself had never seen a convoy in Missouri.

In the meantime, Dalton asked one of the men at Carey’s trucking company to teach him how to polish aluminum wheels.

“He said, “I wanted to start my own small business,” recalls Carey. “He is quite a businessman. A very hard worker”.

And, no matter what he’s doing, Darlton always seems to be the happiest kid in the world, with his big, contagious smile.

Carey recalls: “That was the way every day. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him not smile.”

Carey told The Daily Beast he didn’t want to go into detail about what happened to his grandson, but he noted that bullying on social media was increasing.

“Back when I was in school, if someone started a rumor or something happened, you had six hours or so to deal with it before the end of the work day,” Carey said. “And now a confrontation happens, one click of the switch and it goes viral. It’s all over… It’s said that it got pretty bad. “

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Some of the insight comes from the “reason to sign” section that Dalton’s paternal grandmother, Debbie Frank, put out on an online petition seeking a discussion with the local school board about the behavior. bullying after a 13-year-old student there died by suicide in May.

“My 13th grandson Dalton Frank was bullied and slapped at school and went home to take his own life,” the grandmother wrote. “The school failed this wonderful young man. RIP Dalton. ”

Cole County RV School District, which handles media requests for schools, did not respond to the Daily Beast’s request for comment.

The family had hoped to use the schoolyard to get Dalton to but ended up using the Kempker Arena not far away. Carey began spreading the word among her fellow truckers on Tuesday, February 15.

“By Tuesday night, I had 30 to 40 trucks, not including my truck,” he recalls. “And so I know it’s going to be pretty good.”

A truck driver in West Memphis, Arkansas, who wasn’t sure he could attend, made a TikTok video.

“I don’t like bullies,” he said. “I don’t care who you are.”

He then reached for his CB radio microphone and made what he called “the last call” to a truck-loving bully victim and the son of a truck driver.

“Dalton Frank, did you hear that? Dalton Frank, come back, man. Have you heard of headphones? Dalton Frank, his family, everyone is connected to him, I’m sending my prayers, my condolences… I know you don’t know me, but used to be a driver load, always a trucker”.

After Monday’s funeral, more than 200 trucks lined up to prepare for what is known as a “truckers memorial” – transporting Dalton’s remains for burial at the Hawthorn Memorial Gardens in the City. Jefferson Street. The procession took place in a state of great sadness when the coffin was placed on the uncle’s back, which was already flat.

“We got it all hooked up and ready to go,” recalls Carey. “There were a lot of tears shed.”

But Dalton’s smiling spirit seemed to have asserted itself as the trucks began rolling past thousands of people along the two dozen miles of the route, standing by the side of the road and past everything bluffing and filling. side roads.

“About half way through, it was all smiles and laughs,” Carey said. “The kids along the road, they’re stretching their arms, want to hear the whistle.”

The truckers obeyed and the air filled with what sounded like music to Dalton.

“I knew he was smiling at us,” Carey said. “He was definitely with us.”

What little boy wouldn’t want to be in such a convoy? Another Missouri school with Dalton was later called Carey.

“They said their kids went to school talking about a convoy carrying a bullied kid,” Carey later told The Daily Beast. “And that is what they will talk about today. They will talk about bullying. “

And that’s exactly what Carey had hoped for.

“If it does anything, I want to make a big impression on people to say, ‘Hey, you have to talk to kids about bullying. It’s getting out of control right now with social media and everything. “

Careful numbers that everyone can learn a lesson from the dedication of truckers to the boy who always wanted to be in a convoy.

“This is proof that you can ask a community to come together to help,” says Carey.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/missouri-teen-dalton-frank-gets-anti-bullying-truckers-convoy-to-funeral?source=articles&via=rss Missouri teenager Dalton Frank is brought to the funeral by Anti-Bullying Trucks

Russell Falcon

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