The mother of a 10-year-old Cape Breton boy who was bullied says things have improved dramatically since a group of bikers escorted him to school last week.

Xander Rose, who is aboriginal, was the target of racial slurs and made fun of due to his weight. He says he was also subjected to threats of violence and told to kill himself.

His mother, Katie Laybolt says she reached out to the school and the school board, and even contacted some parents, but says she couldn’t get the help her son needed. She grew increasingly concerned as Rose became withdrawn and didn’t want to leave his bedroom.

Determined to help her son, who loves motorcycles and wants to be a biker, Laybolt reached out to a group of bikers to see if they could help.

In a move that garnered international attention, hundreds of leather-clad bikers from around the Maritimes gathered in Sydney on June 21 to escort the Grade 4 student to Harbourside Elementary School and take a stand against bullying.

Rose and Laybolt say that show of support has made a big difference at school.

“He was glowing. I’ve not seen him come from school like that all year,” says Laybolt. “He expressed that other children there that had tormented him wanted to speak with him, not all, but some, and even that’s a small victory.”

“I feel like I’m not the victim of being picked on at the school as much as I used to be anymore,” says Rose.

Laybolt says officials with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board have even reached out to the biking community, asking them to participate in future school functions. She says she has received mostly positive feedback, but some has been negative, with people saying the spectacle was simply an intimidation tactic.

“It was never about intimidation,” she says. “They were never there as a show of force, be it to the school or the bullies themselves. They were there as a show of support to help the kids that have been tormented know they have a voice.”

Bullying has been a hot topic in Cape Breton, where three teens have lost their lives to suicide in six months. Dr. Stan Kutcher, a mental health expert from Halifax, met with the teens’ families this week and also met with the biking community.

“We talked about some ideas that they have going forward, ways that might be helpful, and I will be looking forward to what they come up with as some good solutions,” says Kutcher.

Meanwhile, Rose and his family are looking forward to Grading Day this Friday, and are expressing their gratitude for the support they have received from the biking community and from others around the world.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore