As everyone knows, bullying is a nationwide epidemic which affects countless children. And thanks to the internet, victims of bullying are feeling it in more ways than ever before. While bullying was, indeed, alive and well in my era, cyberbullying certainly wasn’t. Yet nowadays, the bullying that goes on in the virtual world is something that’s all too real.
But lately, victims of bullying are making a statement of their own in cyberspace. And Alye Pollack is a wonderful example.
A couple of weeks ago, Monica posted the story of Casey, an Australian boy who had been bullied his whole life. And one day, he decided he’d had enough, and that decision was caught on film. In it, Casey stands by passively as he’s taunted by a smaller kid with a smart mouth. Suddenly the smaller kid hits Casey which prompts Casey to pick up the little pipsqueak and give him a full body slam. The bully limps away — literally — and looks as if he’s about to cry.
Unbelievably, Casey got suspended for his actions. But if I were the Casey’s father, I would have given my son a pat on the back. Because I agree with my friend Danielle Sullivan who had this to say in response to Casey’s decision to fight back: “If faced with a bully situation, I wouldn’t teach my son to just walk away. I would teach him to stand up for himself.”
Alye Pollack is another victim of bullying who decided to fight back. Only she’s not using her fists. She’s using a compelling YouTube video in which she doesn’t say a single word. Instead, she holds up cards with words written on them.
The 8th grader introduces herself before admitting that she’s been unhappy for over two years thanks to constant bullying. One card reveals that the situation is so bad, that Alye is “close” to cutting. Another says she’s in “therapy / guidance” more than class.
And as I watched, I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why this little girl is tormented so. She’s beautiful. And the few, simple words she uses to describe her situation come from a mind that’s beautiful, too.
I initially learned of Alye from a story on CBS News and was so taken by what little I saw of the video that I went directly to YouTube to watch the entire thing. And I was very glad to see that many of the commenters saw the same beautiful, intelligent girl that I saw. The messages left for her there are far different from the cruel ones she apparently receives from her peers on a regular basis.
I hope all of her bullies see the video she made as well as all the incredible messages of support that Alye is receiving. But more importantly, I hope that Alye sees those messages.
And believes them. Because they’re true.
I don’t know about you, but it’s nice to see some victims standing strong on the internet. Not to mention all the support they’re getting. Below, check out Alye’s video for yourself. It’s incredible.
Images: Alye’s YouTube video