New junior Yorktown supervisor educates his community after bullying incident

With his new title, Manning-Burns wants to educate his community.

News 12 Staff

Jul 10, 2022, 3:23 PM

Updated 684 days ago

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Leaders of Yorktown made 8-year-old Riley Manning-Burns a junior supervisor last week after he was bullied at the new adaptive playground at Granite Knolls Park in June.  
Riley has down syndrome. The new playground was designed to be all-inclusive.  
Riley’s mother, Tara Manning-Burns, says some kids were hitting and throwing things at him.  
“This can’t happen, let alone at an all-inclusive playground,” Manning-Burns said. 
Manning-Burns suspects the bullies, around kindergarten-aged, learned how to do these things at home. So she shared the incident on social media to help educate parents and be mindful of the examples they set. 
Riley has not let what happened affect him. He is still willing to make new friends. Manning-Burns said her son did not understand what happened. 
“I think he thought, a little bit, they were playing with him,” Manning-Burns said . “He didn’t have a full understanding that they were actually bullying him.” 
With his new title, Riley wants to educate his community. He has been touring Yorktown’s facilities and helping with the new anti-bullying campaign. 
Yorktown Town Supervisor Matt Slater said because Riley knows how to handle adversity – from bullying to beating cancer at age 2, he is perfect for this new role. 
“When you learn about what he’s been through, you learn what a brave, brave boy this is,” Slater said. “I can’t think of a better ambassador for the town of Yorktown.” 


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