Every child has a right to attend school and learn without being persecuted. But for teenager Ben Bennett, that right has been cruelly taken away.
Appearing on today’s This Morning, the 13-year-old explained that bullies have made his life a misery and numerous schools have turned him away.
And all because he’s a member of the traveller community.
The revelations left viewers shocked, and social media was soon buzzing with comments praising the teenager for his bravery and dignity.
Sat next to his mother Natalie, Ben recalled an incident earlier this year when he and his sister were attacked while walking into school.
According to Ben, a mob of boys encircled the siblings and beat them both up, even trying to gouge out one of his eyes so that he couldn’t realise his dream of becoming a pilot.
When he raised his arm to protect himself, one of his knuckles was shattered and he had to go to hospital.
And it’s not just his fellow pupils that have been giving him a hard time.
He then told presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield how he’d been forced out of ten schools, with one member of staff refusing point-blank to teach him.
“I was ten and I was sent out of a classroom because of my ethnicity,” he explained. “She told me she wasn’t comfortable with it.”
A shocked Holly replied: “We’re in 2017 – you’d think this opinion had changed.”
Now, Ben is determined to change people’s attitude towards travellers.
He’s currently appearing in a new Channel 5 documentary series, Gypsy Kids: Our Secret World, which is aimed at giving viewers a better understanding of the community.
And he doesn’t plan to stop there – he’s aiming for the very top.
“I’ve been thinking about it, that I might want to become Prime Minister,” he revealed on the show. “I could make a change with the education system and make it a safer environment.”
Viewers were clearly inspired by his stint on This Morning, as Twitter was soon awash with comments praising him.
One fan wrote: “What an incredible young man. Fantastic to see the bullies aren’t grinding him down & he’s educating rather than retaliating!”
Another said: “I admire Ben so much. The bullies are cowards. Stay focused on your future and you’ll get your rewards.”
And a third encouraged: “You go, Ben. Hold your head high against these vile bullies. They will never win… you’re an amazing young man.”
You never know, maybe we’ll see Ben at number 10 Downing Street at some point in the future!