BALDWIN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — When bullying is all too common in school, a simple act of kindness is proving to be powerful on Long Island.
Two Baldwin High School seniors are showing how it’s done.
If it would fit, Malcom Bell would write a whole essay about his best friend, Jesse King, inside his yearbook.
“Almost every day when I come in, I always talk to Jesse. In lunch, I’ll always sit with Jesse,” he said.
They have been friends since the sixth grade and talk about everything from girls to sports. At King’s 16th birthday, he even dedicated a candle to Bell, thanking him for always entertaining him.
“So I’m not bored at home doing nothing,” he said.
But it was a recent school trip to Dorny Park in Pennsylvania that really enhanced their friendship.
“I understand that his mom was concerned about, ‘Oh, who’s Jesse was going to be with?’” said Bell.
So the popular athlete ditched his other friends to hang with King, who has autism and suffers from a seizure condition, for the whole day to make sure he would be OK.
“When he signed up weeks ago, one of the things he said was ‘please pair me up with Jesse. I want to spend the day with Jesse,’” Baldwin High School Director of Physical Education Eduardo Ramirez said.
King can only go on certain rides, so Bell missed out on most of the ones his classmates went on, even though the school gave King is own chaperone.
King’s mom was elated that Bell was so kind.
“That is so important for children with autism or any disability to feel that they are loved and that they are part of a community,” said Jessica Rios.
Bell’s mom had no idea her son did this until well after the trip. She was proud her son’s act of kindness meant so much.
“We are in a world to be here for one another. Let us love and embrace one other,” said Kimberly Bell.
Bell also invited King to go to prom with him and his friends next week and to visit him at the University of Hartford in the fall.
King will attend a vocational school when he graduates, with hopes of going to Hofstra University.