During one of my workshops this week, I was chatting about school bullies (school bullies eventually become office bullies if they are not dealt with).
Every third person in the group had a story about their own child or niece or nephew, or grandson or grand daughter who had been or was being bullied at school.
It reminded me of a video that I posted earlier this week from a girl named Ayle Pollack.
In a video entitiled, “ Words are Worse that Sticks and Stones”, Ayle held up cue cards to the camera describing her plight.
Hi my name is Ayle
I’m in 8th grade
Do I look happy?
Well I’m not.
I’ve been like this since 6th grade
I don’t have many friends. 3? 4?
I am bullied.
Not a day has gone by without one of these words
Bitch, whore, fat, lesbo, slut, freak, ugly,weird, fag
I don’t cut but I’m close….
I’m in therapy guidance more than my class
I like my school, just not the kids
Will highschool get worse????
Think before you say things
It might save LIVES
Don’t be a KILLER
STICKS AND STONES?
WORDS DO HURT
Think. This could be you.
The video was uploaded by Alye herself.
The following message is attached to the video.
‘Words can really hurt. Think before you speak.
For inquiries, please send an email to email@example.com
and not directly to Alye.
Thank you, her family.’
In just over two weeks, there were over 350,000 hits on Ayle’s video.
Over 5000 likes
Nearly 350 dislikes…who dislikes something like this??
I read some of the comments, I couldn’t believe the outpouring of support for Ayle.
Someone re-did Ayle’s video in Spanish.
Someone named JoeySixx1 dedicated a new video that he made with a freeze frame pic of Ayle’s face with the captions ‘extraordinary’ and ‘ you are not alone in this world’
He added the message below the video
“A song dedicated to Alye Pollack – a truly courageous and inspirational young woman!”
Someone named Richard did a week’s worth of encouraging videos for Ayle. Richard said that he was bullied in Grade 8 too.
So I wondered why all the comments from earlier on had been pulled.
Then someone said that all those comments were NOT positive and that Ayle’s family had pulled them to protect Ayle.
Then more people jumped on and said the bullies should be killed, which of course isn’t any better.
So it all boils down to the same point. What happened to the people in Ayle’s school that were bullying her? Yes, all efforts should have been made by everyone (victims, bullies, teachers, principals, PARENTS, etc) to reach some form of reconciliation. Having said that, if the bullying continued, why weren’t the bullies suspended? If it was serious enough, why weren’t they charged?
According to a disturbing episode of 20/20 many American public schools do not consider the internet school property. Really? How many more kids have to kill themselves? How many more kids like Ayle, have to feel afraid to go to school everyday? American charter schools have a better grip of the problem and I’m proud to say in Canada, internet bullying can result in automatic suspension, although many efforts are made to reconcile the parties before it gets to that point.
God bless you Ayle. You represent so many.Your message came through loud and clear. Now it’s up to the rest of us to have your back.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.- Martin Luther King Jr.