The mother of Torrence Collier, the 11-year-old boy who spoke publicly about bullying and racist comments he has allegedly encountered in a small Newfoundland town, says the family may have to move.
Collier, the only black child in Westport, has already stopped attending classes at St. Peter's Academy, where several teenagers have been suspended by school officials.
While the school board has stepped in to offer unusual assistance — including the cost of Torrence travelling 180 km each day so that he can attend school in the town of Baie Verte — Heather Collier says the family is considering another solution.
"Now we've got to look at a lot of things in our life that's got to change," she told CBC News.
Torrence's story attracted attention across the country, and letters of support from around the world.
'More alone than ever'
Even so, Heather Collier said her son feels more isolated after speaking out about his experiences.
"We know we need a change for Torrence's sake," she said.
"He feels more alone now than ever, and we just want to leave Westport right now. He's sad, and he's been finding it really difficult."
The Colliers adopted Torrence while they were living in Western Canada. They returned to their roots in Newfoundland about a year and a half ago.
The Colliers says a small but hurtful minority in Westport, a community of about 220 on Newfoundland's Baie Verte Peninsula, has caused their son's misery.
The Colliers' story sparked resentment in the community, with parents and other children insisting Westport is not racist. One mother of twin 11-year-old girls says Torrence is a bully himself.
Earlier this week, the Colliers met with school board officials to find ways to help Torrence move to a new school in Baie Verte. Heather Collier said while the offer of a travel subsidy "would be a big help,” the family is now seriously considering a move to Newfoundland's west coast.
Heather Collier said such a move would take them closer to family in Corner Brook or Stephenville. She said if they decide to move, they would like to do it soon, so they can settle in before the new school.