Three-year-old girl given black eye by bullies gets help from Batman

After a three-year-old girl came home from kindergarten with bruises on her face and a black eye, she finally opened up to her mother that she was being bullied by her classmates.

That's when Batman stepped in.

He walked the little girl, Lydia, to school to inform her bullies that she was his "best friend" and he would be back to check on her.

Lydia's mom, Erica Calculli, of Spring Hill, in the US state of Florida, initially believed that the marks her daughter came home with were accidental, possibly from other children unknowingly playing too roughly.

"At first it was very minor and I thought it happened just playing around, so I let it go," Ms Calculli told WTSP.

But, toward the end of August, Lydia came home with a swollen red and black eye.

"She told me that a bunch of girls and one boy hit her, and a girl threw a shoe at her eye," Ms Calculli said.

According to Ms Calculli, the bullying caused changes in her daughter's temperament. Where she was once bright and bubbly, she noticed that Lydia’s behaviour was changing, and she even started to get violent with her own mother.

The mum reported the incidents to her daughter's school, but little changed, so she aired her frustration on social media, where the hero of Spring Hill took notice.

"Lydia's mother and I have been friends for a bit," said Jack Asbury III, who revealed his secret identity to Yahoo Lifestyle.

"I saw her post on Facebook about Lydia having a hard time. I knew she liked superheroes, so I asked if I could walk her to school [as Batman]."

The Batman of Spring Hill walked the bullied three-year-old to her kindergarten and told her classmates that she was his "very best friend." Source: Facebook

Mr Asbury, who works as an EMT when he's not visiting children in the community who need a little cheering up, arrived outside Lydia's school on August 28 dressed as the Dark Knight, which he admits can be a bit intimidating for young children.

"At first, Lydia was a little shy and nervous," Mr Asbury told Yahoo Lifestyle. "But when I told her I had a gift for her, she came out and started talking."

Mr Asbury also brought Lydia her own superhero outfit, Supergirl, and told her that she was just as brave as the hero.

"I asked if I could walk her and if she could show me the way [to her school]. So she grabbed my hand and led me in," he said.

As Lydia brought Batman into her classroom, he said that other kids stood in a bit of shocked silence, while others yelled, "Batman!"

There, Mr Asbury told Lydia's classmates that she was his "very best friend."

The lesson of friendship seemed to stick with the children.

"A little boy came to Lydia as soon as we walked into school this morning," Ms Calculli wrote in a message to Mr Asbury.

"[He] said, 'Hi, best friend Lydia,' took her hand, and walked her to class. Seriously, made me cry. Thank you so much for being there for my baby."

According to Mr Asbury, Lydia has also been put in an advanced class in her preschool and has been "doing great."

A "Batfund" has been set up to help Mr Asbury continue to visit children in the community and beyond. Donations to the fundraiser go towards purchasing gifts for children he visits as Batman, and to items that a struggling family may need.

"Unfortunately, I am not the real Bruce Wayne and my salary is limited after my bills and kids are taken care of," Mr Asbury said.

"Right now, I'm in the process of putting a care-package together for a little one in Texas... The [donations] are to help me be able to do more and help families."

Ms Calculli did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

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