Oklahoma City’s Rayden Overbay has found brighter days through jiu-jitsu after being the victim of relentless bullying.
Three years ago, the story of Rayden Overbay’s trials with bullies hit the news after videos of his harassment were released onto social media.
Overbay’s parents opened up about their child’s challenges with multiple disorders, including ADHD, ADD, ODD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Rayden has also struggled with weight issues from a very young age.
“As you saw in the video, he’s always been bigger than everybody. I would witness kids when he was like 8 or 9 just walk up and punch him square in the stomach,” Rayden’s mother Scotlyn Overbay said.
In one video, three Yukon Middle School students were seen assaulting Rayden without provocation. The second video captures Rayden being attacked in the boy’s bathroom by a different student who was not present in the first video. Rayden did not fight back in either instance.
Yukon Public Schools disciplined the assailing students, though it is unclear exactly what measures were taken. They released the following statement after the bullying videos went viral.
“Yukon Public Schools along with the Yukon Police Department are actively investigating videos circulating on social media that involve Yukon Middle School students. The safety of our students is our first priority. Yukon Public Schools is not at liberty to publicly disclose the students’ names nor any disciplinary actions taken. We encourage everyone to report threats of any kind to a district or school official, local law enforcement, or via the Oklahoma School Security tip line at tipline.ok.gov or by calling 855.337.8300.”
Three Years Later…
At the time of his story, one person who stepped forward to aid Rayden was MMA fighter Justin Wren through his anti-bullying organization Fight for the Forgotten.
Now in 2022, the 15-year-old Rayden has been fighting back against his doleful memories by training jiu-jitsu regularly at Lovato’s Jiu-Jitsu School in Oklahoma City, and the results shine light on a winner.
“We’re proud of you, we’re rooting for you, always in your corner, man,” Poirier said.
Poirier’s words were well received by Rayden, who happens to be a big fan of “The Diamond.”
“Probably one of the coolest UFC fighters,” Rayden said about his message from Poirier. “I’ve got a lot of support.”
Rayden has not only made leaps physically but also mentally, finding enough peace in his heart to forgive the kids who bullied him years ago.
“It was a rough journey to forgive them but I forgive them,” Rayden said.
Justin Wren plans on launching a free anti-bullying program called “Heroes in Waiting,” which you can learn more about here.