Brenda Millson, whose grandson Maxwell Bagley has autism, received a mysterious and devastating letter at her Newcastle, Ontario, Canada home last week.
The letter, typed on a pink sheet of paper, said that Millson’s grandson is a “noise polluting whaling (sic)” that “scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!” In closing her screed, the letter writer implored Millson to “do the right thing and move or euthanize him” and then signed the letter as “One pissed off mother.”
When Karla Begley, Maxwell’s mother found out about the letter, she told the Toronto Star that it made her “sick to her stomach” that anyone would write such a horrid letter.
She said: “But they just hated him because he was different. That’s the only reason they had to hate him.”
Begley, who lives in Oshawa, Ontario, often sends Maxwell to his grandmother’s home because her multiple sclerosis makes it harder to take care of him. Maxwell doesn’t speak much but his mother says that he makes “happy noises,” something that the letter writer calls “dreadful.”
The viral hate letter was posted on social media networks and has prompted the neighborhood where Maxwell is staying to show their support. When a local television news crew went to visit Newcastle, a neighbor rallied 120 people to come in support of Maxwell. Even celebrities like Canadian country music sisters Lennon and Maisy, who star in the ABC television series “Nashville,” have used Twitter to spread the message worldwide, which was retweeted nearly 6,000 times.
Although many in the neighborhood and across Canada have rallied behind Maxwell and his family, prosecuting the anonymous letter writer may be a stretch. The Durham Regional Police told the Toronto Star this morning that the hate mail does not constitute a hate crime under local laws: “Despite the hateful language used, the Crown Attorney’s office has advised that the content of the letter falls below the threshold for a hate crime. However, there are other Criminal Code issues that are being considered.”
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