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Illinois — Last Friday, 10-year-old Ashlynn Conner was found dead inside her closet where she had hanged herself with a scarf. Her family says bullying is to blame.

Her mother told reporters that Ashlynn, an honor roll student at Ridgefarm Elementary, had been bullied relentlessly at school and by kids in the neighborhood. Nothing physical, just emotional bullying consisting mostly of name calling.

“Ashlynn’s ugly, look Ashlynn’s ugly. She’s fat. They’d call her a slut,” her mother said.

Last Thursday Ashlynn told her mother she’d been picked on all day at school by three girls and asked if she could be home-schooled. Her mother told her ‘no’ and that she would speak to the principal about it on Monday.  The next day, while most kids were enjoying a day off for Veteran’s Day, Ashlynn went inside her hanging in her closet.

Her older sister found her after the family realized they had not seen or heard from Ashlynn since her mother had overheard her talking with a classmate on the phone a half-hour before, detailing the girls at school picking on her and the fact that her mother would not let her be home-schooled.

What I find amazing is that Ashlynn’s mother does not blame the bullies, saying they are just kids and don’t fully grasp the damage they are doing. She doesn’t blame the principal, saying he couldn’t have done much more than he had done already. She did say that she wished she could have done more and wished the teachers would have done more for Ashlynn than simply telling her to quit tattling.

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Ashlynn’s grandmother isn’t quite on the same page and plans on using Ashlynn’s death as a way to raise awareness about bullying.

“We have to prevent it so there won’t be other Ashlynns,” she said, her voice choked with emotion. “I want to see a law that will hold parents accountable and to a degree, the kids, depending on their age. This cannot continue to happen.”

Kind of hard to get your head around the fact a 10-year-old girl, who would have turned 11 in a few weeks, would feel this was her only option. Fukcing sad, man.

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  • Dirty Dawgy Style

    Poor girl. She doesn’t look ugly to me.

    The mother trying to minimize this terrible event really pisses me off.
    A child reaching out to her mom by providing an option and gets a flat ‘no’.
    The suffering in her mind must have been awful.

    Bullying is taking its toll on our kids these days. They aren’t allowed, or know how to, fight back, parents are not taking it seriously, and the schools hands are seemingly tied to find a solution, what are we missing here?

    Why, why, why?

  • Athena

    I think the best thing we could do is to remove the universal policy that states that any child involved in an altercation will be disciplined.  Research states quite clearly that – more than going to parents or teachers, more than just walking away, more than fighting back – peer intervention is THE best way to combat bullying.  Right now, we focus on telling bullies to quit bullying and telling victims to be strong.  We should also be creating a generation of children who will step in when they see bullying go on.  

  • Anonymous

    So the grandma wants to create another law holding parents accountable? Did I read that right?

  • How the hell does a 10-year-old even come to this conclusion?! And I find it very odd that the family isn’t more upset about this… Usually when a kid goes and offs themselves because of bullies, the family goes ape shit. I read an article a couple of days ago, I believe, about a teen who killed herself and tweeted about it beforehand. This shit is getting out of control. Either these kids are getting a hell of a lot meaner than the kids were when I was in school (and I was bullied horribly), or the kids are getting weaker and/or see suicide as some kind of ultimate attention seeker and aren’t thinking about how much that attention doesn’t matter when you’re fucking dead anyway! I just can’t wrap my head around it. 

  • Anonymous

    Cute kid.  It’s a shame.

  • Anonymous

    Mom sounds like an incredibly forgiving pacifist. Here’s how it should be handled (okay, it’s how I’d like to handle it). Go to the mom of the kids bullying her. I give them one or two opportunities to talk some sense into their own kids. If it continues, Go to the moms house, pull her (mom) out of the house by her hair when she opens the door, and beat the ever loving shit out of her in her front yard. Then tell her daughter that everytime your kid gets bullied, bully’s mom gets pummeled. I really do think if parents were held accountable, they would spend time parenting their children and teaching them right from wrong. And, I agree with Athena. Everyday we hear about people who do nothing as they hear children being abused in the next apartment, then when the kid dies they “wish they had done more”. Kids who stand by and allow their peers to bully kids at school grow up to be those do-nothing adults.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t honestly say I was bullied, but I certainly heard kids called everything this girl was and worse.  That certainly isn’t right or acceptable, but it also seems like kids these days have incredibly thin skins and fragile egos.  Who cares what a bunch of stupid mouth breathers say anyway?  It’s a real shame when someone COMMITS SUICIDE over this kind of nonsense, especially a ten year old girl.  I really don’t know what the solution is, but I would suggest we need more intervention by peers and teachers and more of a “sticks and stones” mentality instilled by the parents.  They’re just words from a bunch of spoiled know nothing dummies.  It’s not worth taking your life over. When the bullying is physical, obviously more intervention is needed.  But the kids have to develop more of a thick skin toward verbal abuse, because there’s no way to prevent all of it.

  • Anonymous

    Good idea.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know, I would have committed suicide between 4th and 6th grade right after shooting my bullies if someone had handed me a gun between the abuse and neglect at home and going to school every day to be beaten up. I even got pushed down a flight of concrete steps and busted my ankle and no one cared. I’m lucky I got to move away to a less abusive parent and a much nicer school when I was 12.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry to hear that.

  • Anonymous

    poor kid.. : such shame

  • Anonymous

    My dumbass mom always told me to tell bullies Jesus loves you and turn the other cheek. That just makes them laugh and beat the crud out of you right then and there and as often as possible because they know you won’t do a thing. I never did fight back because that would have meant an extra beating at home. Until I got to be 12 and started running away from home for weeks on end. That made a difference, given time between beatings you get a chance to think about how to wiggle out of one and fight back. By 16 I could whip both of my parents and kids were actually afraid to cross me. I learned you have to act tough, be good at bluffing, and have the anger to follow through if they do attack you.

  • It seems like every bullying story that ends like this is the same – adults knew that something was wrong and didn’t stop it, and by the time someone chose to act (like this mother saying she’d go to the principal) it’s too late. You’d think given the amount of media attention bullying has been getting lately, with schools all saying they’re going to work on it, they would actually stop ignoring it.

    At least poor Ashlynn is somewhere better now.

  • You make some good points … extreme view on some points … overall I like  your comment.
    It is what I would call a shit,or get off the pot idea.

  • Yea,I can relate … my childhood did not suck everyday,but most of the time it was horrible.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, sorry about your experience, that sucks. I used the “mom should beat the other kids mom’s ass” because that is actually what my mom did. I know, violence begets violence and all of that bullshit. But there were two boys (brothers) who used to bully the hell out of me and two other girls everyday on the bus and the whole walk home (we lived on the same street). Sometimes physical too, would try to catch us walking to each others houses and try to drag us into their house. Would steal our books, spread rumors about us, all kinds of crap. My mom tried to talk to their mom, but she was too cracked out to give a damn. So one day after one of the kids pushed me down, my mom went down to their house. As soon as their mom opened the door, my mom pulled her out of the house by her hair, tearing off the storm door in the process. Not only did the two boys see their mom get her ass beat, but all of the neighbors, including my two friends who endured the daily torture with me, did also. Nobody called the cops, that family was just bad news anyway and caused problems since they started renting the house. A few weeks later, they moved out. Problem solved. And it made me scared to death of my mom from that day forward. I wouldn’t stand up toe to toe to her now!

  • Great advice for an adult … but to a kid … the advice sucks – “They’re just words from a bunch of spoiled know nothing dummies.” This may be true, but this is a kids whole world … kids have a great need to be accepted,and included by their peers,being excluded,and ridiculed is just not an option most will accept well,no matter how much you tell them not to pay attention to it. 

  • Anonymous

    Believe me, it IS that bad to a kid. It’s not that kids now are more thin-skinned. I think we just expect humanity to treat people better now. After some evolution, I think society’s thinking has changed on a lot of things. We no longer think “a man owns his family” and can do what he pleases to his wife and kids. My dad used to tell me when he was little (he was abused daily) that there was a little kid HE felt sorry for, about 4 years old, always walking around with busted lips and black eyes and broken bones. It was pretty common in the 50s. The thought was that nobody would dare intervene. People DO intervene more now, and we just expect people to treat people with dignity now. Kids that bully often grow up to be adults that lack empathy. It’s easy for us to look back as adults and think how petty it is, but if your whole life revolves around school (and it does at age 10), it feels pretty inescapable.

  • Anonymous

    Kids eventually have to become adults.  If they aren’t taught to disregard loose, nasty talk from a young age, how will they ever learn?

    By the way, I’m not blaming the victim here.  She was ten and not really old enough to be responsible.  I do feel her parents let her down in some ways, and her teachers also if she was subjected to severe verbal abuse and nothing was done about it.

  • Anonymous

    I am so sorry to hear that dude.I was mercilessly tormented because I lived in a very redneck-y town and we were the only white family in the “black side of town”.To add insult to injury ,I was a “goth” kid before it was fashionable and a bit overweight and had a fucked up home life so I had “target” written all over me.I had trouble with some neighborhood kids who hated “whitey” but the kids who made MY life a true living hell were the lovely Caucasian “Future Farmers of America” kids who called me “n*ggerlover” and “cow” or “pig”.All because I lived on the “wrong” side of town and didnt dress like other kids.I ran into one of those recently working a dead end job and it was all I could do not to laugh in the bitchs’ face but I have a dead end job too so I digress….
    Now I have a child and she is friendly to everyone but it has backfired on her.She attracts a lot of “haters” because she gets straight A’s effortlessly and actually behaves herself in school.She did have a bunch of “cliquey” girls give her some shit and I stopped it in its tracks by contacting the mothers of those girls.Unless they are bitches too,that usually works better than school getting involved.
    Anyway getting to the point,kids are not evil on their own,they learn their behavior at home.They have parents who are asstards too and probably bullied kids when they were in school.It starts at home and should be nipped in the bud at home too.

  • Dead on Athena….0 tolerance should mean exactly that…The more that people (kids and/or adults such as teacher who pretend not to see it) do not tolerate it, the less these bullies can “put on” a performance for their peers. I also saw something similar to what you are talking about on an experiment of What Would You Do? Primetime. Where they tested that very idea. And as with alot of those situations. If one person speaks up for the good, many follow with support. That can also apply to one person acting not so nice, but I digress. There are also average kids who join in the bullying trying to deflect it from themselves, who wouldn’t otherwise act that way.And if one kid speaks up, there is often others who will then find their own voice.

  • My daughter is 11. I don’t know that if this happened to her I would be as nonchalant as this mom here.I don’t think I really expected her to be all lawsuit crazy, it wouldn’t bring her kid back. But if she is so passive in her childs defense in death, how much of a help was she in life?! Little evile fuckers running around these schools, and it starts at home folks!

  • Anonymous

    You’re right, there’s a pack mentality, for good or bad. If one person has the courage to step up, usually others will too (the old, “I got your back…. WAY back here” theory). Likewise, I’ve seen kids when I was in school who are nice kids, who were actually picked on themselves, joining in with, or laughing with the bully, because if they can get on the bully’s side it keeps the teasing off of them for awhile. 

  • Anonymous

    I guess bullies come in all kinds, because at my high school the FFA kids were the ones that were social outcasts. Just depends on where you live, I guess. 

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, kids WILL form cliques and hassle “outsiders.”  It’s just human nature.  We can either complain about how that shouldn’t be the case in a perfect world, or we can recognize it as a fact and deal with it.  Again, I suggest a multi-pronged approach.  Teachers should be on the lookout for verbal bullying and stop it cold, because it interferes with learning.  Peers should be taught to stand up against verbal bullying, because it’s the decent thing to do.  But teachers and peers aren’t always going to be there, so kids flat out have to be taught that “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  The alternative, teaching kids that verbal abuse is “just as bad” as physical abuse, only makes them feel sorrier for themselves when the verbal abuse DOES occur.  I know talk of “toughening kids up” is not fashionable, but I submit that ten year old children didn’t used to hang themselves over harsh words.  Something has changed, and not for the better.

  • Anonymous

    Mom’s reaction does sound odd.  Not sure what that’s all about.

  • Smileypants

    I think I’d wanna take out some of my anger and heartbreak by pounding a few little bitches in the face for what they did to my daughter. Or their mom(s) lol   I’d go to jail, then get out and probably have to pay a bunch of money, but I still woulda had the satisfaction of having some kind of revenge. This little girls mom seems weirdly passive about the whole thing. Maybe she’s still in shock and on meds….??

    I think Ashlynn was totally cute, she had a smile that lit up her face. I don’t know what these girls were thinking, calling her ugly. Jealous maybe?? I hope those little heathens have some humanity and feel bad for their role in this girls death….

  • WTF? Calling a ten year old a slut? Okay that was par for the course at my high school, but for a what, 4th grader? That seems odd to me.

    Odder still is mom. She is so laid back for someone who just lost their little girl. My lil girl will be ten in under a month, and I’d be kicking some 4th grade behind if she were bullied to the point of suicide. I don’t think I’d care at the point that they were little kids.

    I’d home-school both my kids if I didn’t know a ton of home-schooled kids who turned out to be a buncha weirdos.

  • Anonymous

    Mom needs to take some responsibility also! She prob told her something like “man up”

  • wyrosjr

    I work every day to make everyone accountable. Guess how popular I am at work? But I feel vindicated when I can read something like this and know I didn’t overlook it. Somewhere down the line, we have to offer a reward for people “Doing the right thing”.

  • Anonymous

    As a parent, I would much rather home school my child than have them so upset and anxious that they commit suicide. I’m not blaming the mother here, but parents need to stop that kneejerk idea that their kids “NEED” public school for proper education/socialization. Sometimes it’s more than a kid can handle. I do not regret homeschooling my child after she was picked on by kids in a small town school who were backed up by teachers. Now she’s  got plenty of friends, is going to college, and is most importantly, happy, healthy, and alive. When your kids cry out for help, please listen, don’t just assume they’re young and they’re blowing things out of proportion. Sometimes it’s as bad or even worse than they’re telling you.

  • Anonymous

    Well I lived in a podunk town where everyone is related almost and you are a “good ole boy” if you drive a pickup and shoot shit,so FFA kids were like God in our school,even the jocks hung with them.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah I got the goth kid “hey are you a satan worshipper” crap. I was stuck with pins, had gum put in my seat and in my hair, got made fun of for my combat boots, got made fun of for my looks, my weight, my lack of expensive clothes, the whole nine. Got made fun of all day, in class, outside class, and during the whole walk home, day in, day out, until I was old enough to legally quit high school.Quit, got a GED, went to college (on a scholarship no less) and went on with my much improved life only to have my daughter treated the very same way years later with pretty much the same results. My son, on the other hand is a giant of a boy and has never had one bit of trouble with anyone, probably due to the fact that he looks like he could throw them through a wall (lucky for us, he’s a gentle giant.)

  • UniqueMommy1984

    Poor kid, she such a beautiful little girl. I was in her shoes once though. Remember how I wished I was dead many times after coming home from school. It was pretty bad in grade school and middle school. Middle school was probably the worst of all though. I remember going to a spring dance with a girl at the time I thought was my best friend. She was also friends with the girls who tormented me in middle school. She decided she didn’t want to be my friend anymore even though I went to this dance with her. The girl who was the main tormentor yelled in my face that the my so called friend didn’t want to be my friend anymore. I was so devastated, I just went some where and cried. Then they all started in on picking on me. I got up and out of angry yelled at one of the girls to the top of my lungs to leave me alone, I swung my fanny pack at her and called her a fucking bitch (don’t think I hit her, wish I did). I ran to the bathroom and continued to cry. Then they decided to gang up on me. If I wasn’t locked in a bathroom stall I’m positive they would have kicked my ass. It took someone telling a teacher that it was going on before anyone did anything. I still get upset when I think about it and this happen when I was in 6th-7th grade. I’m 27 going on 28 now. I had enough shit going on at home I didn’t need this at school. When my dad came to pick me up though, I told him about it and he went inside and went off. Even though my dad was mean sometimes to me and my brother that was the first time I realized he did actually cared about me. It basically took my mom telling the school that she was going to sue if nothing was done about the bullying because of the way it effected me. 

  • Wicked Smilee

    “…Nothing physical, just emotional…”   –   I would rather endure a 2 minute ass kickin, over a day long emotional headfuck, anytime…

    They should check the mom to see if she is indeed human.  Who the fuck goes thru this, and doesn’t blame someone?!!!  I’d say homelife wasn’t much easier for the kid.

  • Wicked Smilee

    Sorry for what you went thru, I can relate somewhat myself.  Thank gawd that your folks handled it!  It feels terrible to have parents that wont do anything, like mine, or like this kids’.

  • Wicked Smilee

    The first parent this new law should apply to, is the victims parents.  Mr & Mrs do-nothing.

  • Wicked Smilee

    It’s that bad to a lot of adults as well.  We just pretend to be untouchable. 

  • Guest


  • Wicked Smilee

    When kids were giving my kid problems, I just walked up, and told the main instigator, “Don’t make me fuck your mom up”.

    It stopped, thank gawd, cuz his momma was HUGE. 

  • Wicked Smilee

    It’s all about the bluff.

  • Wicked Smilee

    LOL, your momma was like me.  Good!

  • Anonymous

    Yep, I had parents that were completely hands off as far as bullying. They were from the “toughen up and don’t be a sissy” school of parenting. Sure I’m tough at this point, but I’m also a bit broken. It sucks when you don’t really have anyone in your corner when you’re young and feeling vulnerable.
    I do have to add that I never considered suicide during my tempestuous childhood…homicide, definitely, but never suicide. Something in me said I wouldn’t give all these assholes the satisfaction of dying. I would rather be around just to piss off their eyeballs for having to look at me everyday.

  • Future Farmers of America.

    I wish I were joking.

  • Lmao @ It stopped, thank gawd, cuz his momma was HUGE.

  • my dad told us to fight back. he said if you come home crying one more time then i’m going to pull out the belt. i know some people are gonna bitch about how eye for an eye doesn’t work etc, but my kindergarten aged sister was getting picked on by this huge 5th grade girl relentlessly and she took it well until one day she had it and beat the crap out of the girl who had at least 40-50 pounds on her. my sister got suspended but did the girl mess with her again? nope. i guess that’s just how it goes in the ghetto. haha.

  • i agree 100%
    it’s like being pissed off at someone and wishing they’d disappear off the earth.
    they don’t go anywhere and it makes u more angry. 
    and i seriously lol’d at suicide/homicide comment. 
    that was a good one!

  • Anonymous

    ‘…at Ridgefarm Elementary…” well that’s the first problem right there. And it was her parent;s fault.

    Why in the fuck would you put your kid in a school for farm animals when she’s a HUMAN!?

  • Anonymous

    On a serious note, I am very sorry for this little girl.

    I wonder if those 10yr olds REALLY KNOW & UNDERSTAND the word “slut”.

    To make people happy since this has been a day of death, baby abusing & naked hijinks:

  • Anonymous

    You’ve got my vote for President.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry you owned a fanny pack.

    I’m just kidding though.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if things just harder for kids to handle now because of the internet. The bullying doesn’t end when the school bell rings. The torment continues on Facebook, twitter, and other social media. It would surely make it such an overwhelming problem for a kid . I have done all that I can think of to teach my sons not to be cruel to others. I also tell them they should step in and help defend anyone that is being bullied. I wish everyone would instill these values in their children.

  • I think it’s unfair to assume that Mom even had the option of home school. I am fortunate to be able to stay home with my children and home school my oldest. But not everyone can do that. There are a lot of single parents out there who have to work and there are also many families who need two incomes to survive. Home school just isn’t an option for everyone. Besides that, it isn’t like their entire conversation was put in print. Mom may have tried to explain the reasons home school isn’t an option for them rather than simply saying no. If anything I would put more blame on the bullies parents, who clearly haven’t taught them to treat others with kindness and respect.

  • Anonymous

    This is just so sad.

  • bulling in schools has got  way out of hand  they dont just call name any more  my son who is 19  was being bullies at school by some  who was  about his age  due to a  lie a gilr started  they took it to the point of throwing cat pee on him and  writing things on the girls  bathroom walls about him and having girls walk up to him and slap him in the face  it got so bad  that he had to punch the wall to keep from hitting someone  and messed up his hand ..i called the school on more than one acount and keep getting told the same story  they was dealing with it  well they was not dealing with it fast enough for me  so keep on the phone then i was told there was nothing they could do  that realy ticked me off  sayed i had to call the cops about it   oh i did  and i told the cops if some one did not do something soon i was going to the school  and pulling that boy out who was 20  and whipping his azz  right there at school  i even told the cops  that is why there is bulling in school  cause the cops and them are to scared to put a stop to it  hubby finaly went to the school  they  would not even talk  to him  face to face they keep telling him  the princpal was out so he went to the school distric office and told them  about it   they sent someone out to see what was going on and  all  they did not realy do alot but told the by if it keep up he would face  charges   for now it has stopped  but  kids should not have to deal with this kinda stuff at school 

  • Pyncky

    I had a best friend from the 4th grade through High School. He was bullied all the time because he was fat and red-haired. I can’t count how many fights I got into defending him. He just wouldn’t fight back. He would try to get me to ignore them but it just wasn’t in my nature to let them keep at it. One day he finally had enough and beat one of the bullies so hard the kid pissed his pants. The majority of the trouble stopped after that. The sad thing is my friend was more upset that he lost it and hurt the kid than he ever was about the bullying.

  • Jemimabean

    I’ve related my current situation ad nauseum but here it is again: we moved a few months ago and landed in an area zoned for a school which is utterly rubbish IMO. I didn’t have an option but to send them there so far because our local Department of Education makes it incredibly difficult to register your child for home schooling- it doesn’t matter that I’ve probably attained a higher level of education than many of the teachers in the system, they want a parent to not only be wholly conversant with the (crap) national curriculum but also to have some iota of “teacher training.” So it really hasn’t been a viable option for us. In the meantime my kids have been subjected to abusive teachers, a headmistress who lies outright to cover up their tracks and a bunch of undisciplined hooligans as their classmates. So we have finally managed to have them relocated to a much better school as of January but it took a LOT of begging and pleading and intervention with the local government to get it to that point.

    Do I think that this mother, the school, the entire system failed this poor child? Yes, absolutely, because at ten, what concept of suicide do you even have? Sometimes our options are limited and we have to work and fight harder to change things and endure in the meanwhile, and I just don’t see how this mother even tried, because I really don’t think she saw this problem for the clusterfuck that it actually was. I know the only thing that has made the last few months endurable for my sons is the knowledge that their parents are doing everything in their power to change the situation, and I don’t think that this poor little baby girl had the benefit of any “light at the end of the tunnel.” It’s a damned shame, and again, another beautiful young life wasted.

  • Anonymous

    If you’re doing it for the reward, it’s not really the right thing, it’s just self-interest. I know you don’t do it for the reward though. 🙂

  • wolfcat

    The goth kids at our school were really standoffish. I had one who was my friend out of school where he was a momma’s boy and dressed normal and was really sweet, but at school there was like a code that they only hung with each other which was sad. I’m nice to everyone unless they are mean to me first or piss me off (which is not easy to do).

  • You are so right.

  • I realize that this mom most likely did not have the ability to home school her child,but it seems like she failed to understand,and heed the kids outcry correctly.

  • Anonymous

    Her mom made an appointment with the school for the following Monday. Friday there was no school. What more could the mom have done in the meantime?

  • Anonymous

    The teen who twittered had a whole lot of other issues, including sexual abuse. 

  • To be honest … I think the kids were physically meaner when I was a child.I believe that the kids now are mentally more mean though.i believe we had less kids committing suicide back then because there was less of an acceptance culture surrounding it;and I believe the fact that it was rarely heard of contributed to the fact that more kids who were depressed,and unhappy did not take that road.Now child suicide is a fairly common thing, and most kids are aware of it,this awareness unfortunately creates  an atmosphere  of suicide as an option.

    I believe what we need to do is start programs which target mentally strengthening,and reinforcing children’s minds against suicide.I believe we need to make it clear to all kids that this is a very uncool,and unacceptable way to exit this earth.I seriously don’t think as a group that children are getting the message this way;that needs to change. 

  • I like what you had to say.

  • Here is what you have to say that I agree with in a nutshell :
    “recognize it as a fact and deal with it.Teachers should be on the lookout for verbal bullying and stop it cold.Peers should be taught to stand up against verbal flat out have to be taught that “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.I also think that today’s children need a little toughening up,they are pampered more than kids used to be.

     Here is what you have to say that I do not agree with in a nutshell :
    “teaching kids that verbal abuse is “just as bad” as physical abuse, only
    makes them feel sorrier for themselves when the verbal abuse DOES

    There is no need to cover why I agree with those items – common sense should have that covered.As for why I disagree with the one item – I feel that children need to be educated on the fact that in some ways verbal abuse is worse than physical abuse,with physical abuse at least there are visuals indicating when a point has been reached that if passed will result in serious injury,and or death;with mental/verbal abuse there are no visuals to indicate when the person has reached this limit.Kids need much more education (group education) on why all forms of bullying are not only not acceptable,but uncool,and out of line with societies expectations of them behavior wise.This education would not make them ”  feel sorrier for themselves”,but it would make it crystal clear that the person,or persons committing the uncool act,the abnormal act – are the bullies,not the VICTIM.

    Lastly when you state that “I submit that ten year old children didn’t used to hang themselves over harsh words.”  You are wrong.Yes they did,but not as often,and when they did commit suicide we didn’t hear about it as much as we do now.

  • Anonymous

    They’re the ones that wear the blue coats with the name of their state on the back so they can be easily identified when they attend state agricultural fairs. Like Heather said, I wish we were joking.

  • Anonymous

    True, every school has “cliques” and that is a part of growing up. It’s also a way for people to identify and find out where they fit in. So I guess what I am saying is… if you’re in the cool clique, good for you. That doesn’t mean you have to pick on, tease, harrass, and bully those who aren’t. I was bullied in middle school, but became popular in high school due to the fact that my best friend had older sisters, so we were accepted into the upper classman ranks. That doesn’t mean that I ever thought it was acceptable to be a bitch to anyone that was different than me. I guess what I am saying is that it really is the fault of the parents who raise children that think it is acceptable. THEY should be the ones that get a beat down for it.

  • Anonymous

    You got it. And in my experience, girls are even more ferocious than boys. Boys will fight. Girls will form cliques and get on the internet and do a lot of that cyberbully crap. Spreading rumors and making the kids lives miserable even when they’re in the comfort of their own home. Used to be that at least you could feel comfortable at home after you dealt with bullying and teasing all day at school. Now they come home and have to continue putting up with it everytime they sign on to the computer. Hell, I’d rather just fight it out and let it be done.

  • I agree with you. Your home used to be a haven from bullies. Now, they can get you anywhere. You can MOVE and it would still be a problem.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve told my kids that they are never to start a fight and I BETTER NOT find out that they are picking on someone, but that they have a right to defend themselves and yes, they probably will be suspended but that’s for me and their dad to deal with the school about. I made it clear that they have no worries about being in trouble at home for that as long as they were defending themselves. It’s hard to explain to kids sometimes that yes, you might get in trouble for something, but you have to stand up for the right thing even if you’re the only one standing and then take the punishment.

  • Athena

    Although the number of children who commit suicide has doubled since 1979, it’s still quite rare, at 1.3 childen per 100,000 for the 10-14 age range (4 per 500,000 for those under 10, and 7.67 per 100,000 for 15-19 years).  

    I do agree that the fact that we hear about it more puts the thought in a depressed child’s mind.  Do you remember how, in the article about the texting teen, officials wouldn’t release details of how she did it to avoid copycats?  There are certain behaviors that behavioral scientists believe to be contagious, including eating disorders and suicides, as, traditionally, these things used to clump.  A school district or town that experiences an eating disorder or suicide is more likely to see that behavior duplicate than a community that’s never dealt with such an issue.  Of course, the internet and media coverage of suicides circumvents this grouping effect, introducing the idea to kids who would have never been exposed to it otherwise.  

    I also agree that a public awareness campaign specifically labeling suicide as uncool may be an effective tool, but I don’t see that as being PC enough to gain much ground.  But, yeah, currently, suicide has a kind of mystique about it, since people don’t really talk about it.  We need to give suicide a serious image problem.  

  • I really enjoyed reading what you had to say.I am sorry that you had to endure that type treatment as a child.Evan today the whole Goth thing is not accepted in the Black community ;I don’t care what the subject is though there always seems to be at least one,or two, token Blacks involved  – I don’t care if you’re talking Country Western music,Golf (which thanks to Tiger Woods more Blacks now do have an interest in),or Goth.In my lifetime I have seen 1, or 2 Blacks who were into Goth – they always hung out with White people who were also into that.Blacks over all may not be into Goth,and may think it’s strange,or weird,but that is no excuse then,or now to bully,or mistreat a person.I was raised up to treat people the same regardless of their color,but to be wary of White people, and of Police Officers.My Godmother is White,although she lives out of town, and the last time I saw her I was a teenager.Other than that I had minimal inter-reaction with Whites,or Mexicans growing up;back then there were not that many Mexicans living in Dallas,and Whites,and Blacks were pretty well segregated community wise.  

    I also have Mexicans/Hispanics,and Whites in my family now.My two boys are 50%Black, 38%Mexican, and 12% Chinese.I remember when I was  something like 10 years old,I was sitting at the movies watching a film that was basically cops and robbers … I remember  watching the police chase a Black guy who was some type of crook and thinking “Run,Run,Get Away.Don’t let the bad guys catch you”,because in the Black community the police were the bad guys.Back then Dallas Police were shooting a lot of Blacks dead.In later years an investigation was launched into this, and it was determined that a lot of the Officer Reports,did not match up with the Autopsy Reports.The Officers had stated that they drew their weapons, and fired killing the individual due to them being in fear of their lives,because the person had made some sort of threatening action against them,however the autopsy reports stated that a lot of the men had been shot in the back, indicating that they were running away from the Officer at the time they were killed.Police back then were also known to arrest Blacks, and then en route to the jail stop at the Trinity River bottom,and beat the arrestee before taking them on to the jail.Anyway,I am rambling … just wanted to say “Hello.”

  • Anonymous

    I blame the parents of the bullies for not teaching them not to bully, and also the parents of this little girl for not providing her with the tools to deal with criticism – including nasty and unfair criticism.  I also blame her parents and teachers for not providing more help when she asked for it.  However, I don’t think anyone could have really foreseen this tragedy – not her parents, not the bullies, not the parents of the bullies, not the school.  Not every tragedy has a culprit who can be dragged off to jail or sued.  Passing laws to emasculate the First Amendment by creating more categories of “crimespeak,” as her grandmother suggests, is not the solution.  The solution is greater vigilance on the part of teachers and parents on the one hand, and providing children with better coping skills on the other.  Parents won’t always be there.  Teachers won’t always be there.  Friends won’t always be there.  Sooner or later, and probably sooner, kids have to learn to just shrug off the negative opinions of others.  That’s just a fact of life.

  • Anonymous

    Let me anticipate one possible response by clarifying that I mean you have the First Amendment right to talk smack about others WITHOUT BEING JAILED FOR YOUR OPINIONS, REGARDLESS OF HOW STUPID THEY ARE.  You don’t have the right to avoid other possible consequences, such as being fired from your job or expelled from school – two possible appropriate remedies for verbal bullying.

  • LOL.I knew what they were talking about … but I did have to think on it for a second.

  • “that is actually what my mom did.” Good for her.

  • It was all about the follow through where I was raised.

  • LMAO.

  • “we have to offer a reward for people “Doing the right thing”.

    Pretty damn sad if it takes a reward.

  • You said it.

  • ” I hope those little heathens have some humanity and feel bad for their role in this girls death….”

    I bet them lil Bitches were happy when they heard the news.

  • “Calling a ten year old a slut?”
     It does not seem odd to me.Sadly there are some troubled teens who could actually fit that definition.These lil Bitches were most likely just being mean to Ashlynn though.

  • Sounds like she is the type.

  • Another reason why I like this site,a lot of you guys went through similar shit like I did as a kid.Coming on this site is like participating in group therapy – “Hi,my name is Cedric,and I was bullied at school from the 5th grade through the 7th.My Father never cared much for me,and both my parents were country old school,and believed in beating the hell out of you;not the typical “spanking”,a lot of people bitch about kids receiving now-a-days.BLAH,BLAH,BLAH.Glad to meet you guys.”

  • “I wonder if those 10yr olds REALLY KNOW & UNDERSTAND the word “slut”.”

    They understand.

  • Excuse me but I am a little lost here … how old was your kid when this happened,and how old was the main kid who was bullying your kid ? Also what kind of school are we talking about ? A high school ?  

  • Athena

    Yup.  Even if 4th graders don’t understand the significance of the term, they know it’s an insult, so they’ll sling it.

    Also, research conducted by Girl Scouts of America suggests that reality TV may be escalating this stuff.  They see the insults slung by the Kardashians or the Real Housewives of Wherefuckingever, and they begin to think being competitive, catty, and even bullying is a natural and casual way to act.

  • Athena

    The homeschooled kids who turn out to be weirdos typically do so for religious/social reasons. Those are the kids whose parents chose to homeschool them to indoctrinate them religiously or limit their socialization.  An educated individual who homeschools their child for educational reasons and make sure to socialize them properly won’t see any issues like that.  

    In a nutshell, you gotta try to fuck your kid up.

  • Athena

    Well, actually, there is a line, there.  If your “smack talking” resembles harassment, defamation or bullying, you CAN be jailed for it.  

  • Anonymous

    I’m not really comfortable seeing the government define what speech is or isn’t protected by the First Amendment.  It’s not supposed to be optional.  If they are JAILING people for speech, as opposed to actions, they really shouldn’t be.  Where does that end?  Certainly the grandmother’s suggestion that little children should be criminally liable for calling each other names seems to me both daft and a deadly blow to the First Amendment.

  • Anonymous

    My son is in 8th grade now. Last year, one of his teachers wrote me a note complimenting me because he is such a good kid. She said he had been helping another student who had learning disabilities that was kind of an outcast at school, and that other kids wouldn’t hang around with. My son plays baseball at school, and it fairly popular. The teacher said the girls love him, the guys like him, and he’s a “jock” and could be a total jerk if he wanted to be, but instead offered to help out this kid and talk his friends into letting him eat lunch with them so he didn’t have to eat alone. That note made me feel better about my son than anything else he had ever done (grades, sports, or anything). I was so proud. Parents spend so much time equating their children’s worth and success to academics and sports that I think they lose sight of what is actually important which is making them a good citizen. Maybe those of us that were bullied as kids are the only ones that make that connection?

  • Anonymous

    I started slowly being alienated during grade school. The first real painful “blow” came the very first day of 6th grade. This kid who used to walk home with me and tell me I had beautiful eyes basically made it clear I was never to speak to him again. We weren’t friends. I was too ugly or something. I seriously don’t even remember. I just remember feeling like someone had punched me in the stomach. During recess no one hung out with me. The teacher told my mom I was an introvert and didn’t care about other people. That’s not what introvert means, dumb-ass. 

    Junior high I unfortunately went through a phase where I thought hot pink was the best color ever and much of my wardrobe consisted of items in this color. This obviously made me a target. I had no friends and my “best friend” started hanging out with me to do some sort of penance or whatever for some shit leading up to her confirmation or communion. I don’t know. I’m not Catholic. I was ignored during lunch, mocked, punched in the back of the head, tripped in gym while doing laps (teacher laughed), and had a couple of basketballs launched at my skull. My friend turned enemy accused me of being a pervert because I bumped into his ass with my Trapper Keeper (yes!) during a passing period and made a big scene during which he yelled so all could hear that I had felt up his ass. I had no real friends, was always picked last in gym, and no teachers took any effort to help me in any way. 

    High school I was harassed by people about my silence as I was and still am ridiculously shy, lack of make-up, lack of rooster bangs (the Aquanetted straight up in the air bangs were popular in my day). I was also briefly sexually harassed. More than anything though I was just ignored. I started leaving in the middle of the day. Nothing happened. Just didn’t show up until 3rd period. Nothing happened. I started skipping one to two days a week all through out high school and no one ever said or did anything about it. I was like a ghost. 

    I considered suicide many times and even once had a cocktail of pills ready to go compiled from random crap in my parents medicine cabinet, but didn’t go through with it. I also had a very real and scary plan to stab my main tormentor when the opportunity presented itself as his locker was next to mine. Luckily I never went through with that. It’s sad that these kids throw their lives away over this stuff. I’d like to say it gets better, but I’ve dealt with the same shit at pretty much every workplace but for one. People really get something up their ass about a loner.

  • When one person commits suicide, it supposedly sends a message to other people that suicide is a viable solution.  Apparently, people tend to “copycat.”  They think, hey, if it works for one bullied/depressed/heartbroken/whatever person, it will work for me.  Maybe that isn’t exactly what’s going on in their heads, but that’s the gist.  There’s been so much talk of suicide due to bullying on the news that I’d be surprised if a 10-year-old didn’t know about it.

    When I was 10 and being bullied, I didn’t even know that a person could take his/her own life.  So even though I was miserable, I never thought about dying.  I found out about the concept of suicide when I was 11 and read “Romeo and Juliet” for the first time.  But even then, it seemed like more of a dramatic concept and not viable for real life.

    Suicide isn’t about being weak, though.  And it’s not about seeking attention.  It’s about wanting the pain, or whatever situation that is going on, to stop and seeing no other way out.  Even though there is another way out.  I don’t know about kids getting meaner because they were pretty mean when I was younger.  But you are very right:  this shit is getting out of control.

  • Anonymous

    Your post gave me an unpleasant memory. I went to my mom for help, advice, and support. I told her how I was being treated at school. This was junior high so I was probably 13. She told me I deserved it and to paraphrase to stop being me because I had a horrible attitude and how did I expect anyone to want to be my friend? Then when I started crying she just said “Are you crying again?” 

  • wyrosjr

    I have always had a behaviorist point of view, especially after I read some works about B.F. Skinner.I strongly believe that if people are rewarded for certain actions, they will do them more frequently. Conversely, if people are punished for actions, they will do them less frequently. In these behavioral pathways, we aren’t much different than animals.
    Altruism is one of the reasons I do the work I do, but even it operates via reward pathways. The problem I see in our system of law and culture is too few positive rewards. Actually, we are quite often rewarded for doing the wrong things. I think the structure of society itself should be merit-based and incorporate these principles.

  • I can’t blame mom on this one. As a society we are just coming to understand how damaging bullying can be to children. If there was such a serious problem for this child, the school should have noticed and intervined. I would point more toward the school than mom here. School is where the bullying was taking place and clearly the teachers and staff were oblivious to the damage that was being done to this child. Maybe the mom could have taken her daughter more seriously, but I can’t blame her for not immediately pulling her daughter from school. She told the little girl she would talk to the principal. Maybe mom should have dug a little deeper and had a little more conversation with her child, but I doubt she imagined the problem could be this bad. As far as I can tell from what I’ve read, I’d say mom just didn’t understand the depth of the pain the bullying was causing her child and I don’t think that is necessarily her fault. Kids pick on eachother, it happens. Sounds to me like mom had a reasonable plan of action.

    That being said, I don’t disagree with you completely. Something had to be going on in the home for a 10 year old to kill herself. Whether it was outright neglect or abuse, which doesn’t sound like it’s the case considering her mother’s plans to talk to the principal, or simply a lack of interest or incapability of understanding the situation, something was wrong there and now the family has to live with that guilt for the rest of their lives. I imagine in a case like this, that is punishment enough.

  • This is the program I use with my 14 year old and I just love it. I didn’t have to register with the Department of Education or anything. It’s an online virtual public school that uses state curriculum. My son is in class online every day in real time with his classmates. It really is an amazing program he was failing every class last year in regular school so I pulled him out and tried k12 and now he has all As and Bs. I highly recommend this program if you have the time to home school.

  • P.S. The school provided a free computer, scanner and all the necessary materials for each class including books and anything else he needs for science projects or big assignments. It’s great I can’t brag on the program enough.

  • the kid  doing the bulling was 20 and my son is 19  this was in high school 

    it is like i taugh my kids  dont  fight or get in to trouble in school cause that can follow you through out life

  • Anonymous

    Thanks man!When I ran into that old tormentor I spoke of I was with my Native American/ white husband and you should have seen the look in her eye-I was tempted to say “surprised,bitch?” Now when I look back I just laugh.I don’t hate any people but FAKE people anymore life is too short….

  • Anonymous

    Oh well I was heavy so I was also a pig….as well as a pagan.Guess you could call me a “piggan”.I was not all Marilyn Manson-y but I wore fake leather pants and jackets and dyed my hair bright crazy colors.I also quit school and had my degree before my graduating class even left high school.Oh yeah,I was smarter than most of those fucks too!

  • Anonymous

    Trapper Keeper, Aquanetted bangs… you must be about my age. Sorry about your experience. I bought a book about bullying since my daughter is 11 and just started middle school. I’m afraid she will be a bit of a target, because she’s VERY small for her age (only 28th percentile in height and weight) socially immature, and I won’t allow her to wear makeup like the other girls. The book was interesting, talked about different kinds of “at risk” kids for bullying. One was the “invisible” person, who wasn’t actively bullied, but more like just absolutely forgotten about, ignored, whispered about, and left without a social group. It talked about how they were possibly the hardest kids to help because they flew under the radar of anyone that could reach out. Very sad. I’m always thankful that at least while I was bullied and teased a lot in middle school, I still had a group of friends.I can honestly say if I didn’t have that (albeit small) support system, I don’t know if I would have made it through middle school.

  • Smileypants

    I just read that *another* 10 year old girl hung herself over bullying….this time in N Carolina. This is so freakin sad, I can hardly stand it. Another pretty little girl  🙁

  • Smileypants
  • Anonymous

    What a heart-wrenching story.  All of us have been bullied in school at one time or another.  What bothers me is that many parents, students, and school officials believe that it a type of unwritten “rite of passage,” once you start school.  I caught hell over my last name in school until I got to high school and then most people had better things to due that make issues out my last name.  That kind of bullying is common (I’m not condoning it) but it the kind that usually stops at some point when people grow up and discover the opposite sex 😉 

    What is so sad is that the attacks by these bullies target self-esteem and make you view yourself in a negative light.  Some kids can take it, some can’t.  The age of the victim’s of suicide because bullying is getting lower and lower.  Our society has become so focused on social standing in our peer circles that kids today just can’t take it.  It’s a tough problem to fix in our schools.  I don’t believe expulsion, ISS, or suspension is too harsh a punishment for a student who verbally, emotionally, or physically bullies another student.  If they continue to bully, then their parents need to find them an alternative to their child’s education.  Maybe this make parents more accountable for their child’s actions and that will cause these bullies to have consequences at home as well as school.  I don’t know, just my 2 cents worth.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t stay home while my child was homeschooled. She did her work on the internet, I checked it, and it worked out. However, I guess you have to have a child old enough to be trusted alone for a few hours a day. That naturally will vary with the child and the area you live in.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a shame. I thought it was supposed to be easy to switch to homeschooling. In my area, all I did was go to the attendance officer with my curriculum and “voila” done.

  • Anonymous

    When I was growing up girls got into plenty of fistfights. I was in a few. I never started them but I would definitely finish them. Never came out on the short end of a fight. I remember one time this girl and I got into a scrap because she was threatening my little sister. She threw a punch at my face and I lost it. Later when the principal called me in she was on the phone to another administrator who had the other girl and she said “Are you sure there was a fight, this girl doesn’t have a scratch on her” and I could hear the other woman say “Well this one definitely looks like she’s been in a fight!”

  • Anonymous

    Takuro, that sounds sadly too familiar to me. Ah well it hurts, but you have to let stuff like that make you realize that they’re the screwed up ones and that you can maybe make someone in that same situation feel better one day. You’ll know better how to help.

  • Anonymous

    Teens are well meaner nowadays. I live in Glasgow Scotland & I find that they have far more disposible income, where parents don’t take any money off them for their keep, etc, things like rent, gas, electric, tv license are swear words to them!. The ones I have personal experience of they’re biggest concern is what new clothes they are going to wear for this week/ends night of drink/drugs & debauchery. Hell mend them when they end up in the real world trying to run a house, alot of parents round here are just setting their kids up for a huge fall.

  • Jemimabean

    It’s beyond aggravating, but our hands really are tied as far as that goes. It would have been much easier back in the Eastern Cape, but the Gauteng head of education makes it difficult unless you are registered with a trust (she’s gone so far as to threaten home schooling as “punishment” for wayward students!)and registration with any legal entity is pretty expensive- I may as well send them to a private school! It doesn’t help that there’s no real clarity on the issue of a curriculum either- it changes often and up until recently we’ve worked on an Outcomes Based system which tips the balance in favour of lazier students who make it on the backs of everyone else’s hard work (a metaphor for our current economic climate perhaps?)But things are looking up and the boys are really excited about next year.

  • Anonymous

    I learned to roll with it in High school. One girl decided she hated me because I had dated her boyfriend before her. That was all o.O. So she and her bitch army decided to start talking shit about me, calling me a lesbian and a freak and all that lovely goodness. So I started wearing fangs to school and blowing kisses at her in the hallway and skipping around the school holding hands with a female friend.

    She went on to try and start calling me a slut and so on but no one really paid her any attention. My male friends were very aware that I was not a slut much to their disappointment.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, but you can also accidentally fuck your kid up. I know I’m nuts, so I don’t wanna take that risk by homeschooling,