Sticks And Stones

Bullying has gotten plenty of attention lately.

Educators, psychologists and parents have detailed the pernicious effects words can have on young people.  Schools, the mall, online — bullies, it seems, are everywhere.

But nothing describes the pain and hurt like the words of a bullied child herself.

Silently — simply holding up cards with words and phrases, backed by a haunting soundtrack — a Westport 8th grader tells her story on YouTube.

“Help!” her video begins.

“My name is Alye.  I’m in 8th grade.”

She says she may look happy, but she isn’t.  She has “3?  4?” friends.

Every day she is called “bitch, whore, fat, lesbo, slut, freak, ugly, weird, fag.”

She is in “therapy/guidance” more than her classes.

“Will high school get worse?” she wonders.

“Help.”  She repeats.  “Words do hurt.”

Since it was uploaded earlier this month, the video has garnered a few thousand views.

It’s also generated dozens of comments.

Many were supportive, like this one:

I was bullied in school.  I’m 45 now, married, we have two kids and more friends than I can count.  Hang in there.  There’s more to life than what goes on in school.  You have a lot of good things to look forward to.

And this:

well done Alye.  You are a beautiful girl, inside and out.  I know you will be ok!!!!  I am shocked of how mean kids are to each other.  But I guess many of them are hurt and don’t know any other way but hurt others.

Alye, your life will change the world!!!

Some were more personal:

Alye, hey!  it’s Isabel! from french class =)

I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles everyday.  It sickens me to know that there are people in our school that go through this.  Just know that people do care about you, just read the comments!  You are so brave for posting this and remember you DO fit in!  Hang in there!!

And this:

hey alye, it’s anabelle.

you could be the bravest person I know. you don’t deserve all the shit you get.  hang in there cause in high school no one is gonna give a crap anymore.  westport sucks I know, but hang in there.  you’re strong.  and you’re not wrong, words can hurt.

i wish you the best. ps, locker buddies 😉

But there was also this:

You see Alye, you are a ugly, weird, freaky, fat, lesbian, fag, and a complete whore-bitch.  You make this video out of the desperation of others who feel obligated to help you when in reality, they just hate you more for this. I  use to think you were only a complete and utter asshole.  but now I feel like your just a dumb skank who searches for pity in any possible way.  Even if you were to get more friends with this, would you really be happier?  Cause I hope you realize they do it out of pity. <3
Alye’s very courageous, very important work continues.
(Thanks to Westport Patch, which first noted this video.)

73 responses to “Sticks And Stones

  1. an interested reader

    This video saddens and sickens me. First of all, this girl is neither fat nor ugly — hello? As a mother of a beautiful, sweet, kind 23 year old girl now, this makes me furious. My daughter was bullied once in middle school, and I immediately got involved, called the parents of the bullying girl and the school. Let’s just say, it was over in one day and never happened again. Where are the parents and and the school on this one? Saying that this all goes away when you’re older doesn’t help but adults getting involved NOW to stop this is helping her. This girl is crying out for help or she could hurt herself. What good parents or good school system allow their young middle school age children to use this foul language?? In our day, this would be called suspension time. My daughter would have been grounded within an inch of her life if I had ever heard her say such filthy things! My sister had a horrible time in the Westport public schools with all of the rich spoiled kids and too bad it’s’ still going on. I didn’t because I could have cared less and had some good friends I could relate to. This is an adult/parent problem — our kids are only reflectors of what they see at home so get with it, Westport. Her parents are getting her “guidance/therapy” when the best therapy for her is the parents getting involved now and demanding that this stop today with the school and the bullying children’s parents. Get on this, parents and school. This girl should not have to post a youtube video to be getting the help she deserves. This should have been dealt with long before she cried for help on the internet.

  2. Next Tuesday, March 29 from 7:30-8:30pm, don’t miss “Straight Talk About Bullying: What Every Parent Needs To Know” presented at The Conservative Synagogue Preschool. Dr. S. David Bernstein, a forensic psychologist will be speaking about the many issues surrounding bullying that children and their families today. Q and A session follows.

  3. I saw this video earlier today on Facebook. Alye was incredibly brave to post it. Heroic, really. I wish I could wrap her in my arms and tell her that she’s beautiful and that, yes, the bullying will someday stop. For the life of me, I can’t understand how people can be so cruel.

  4. Shocked & Saddened

    I AM SICK.

    I cried when I watched this…and agree COMPLETELY with An Interested Reader: where are the parents ? Where are the adults ? And where is the school administration ? We/grownups are the only ones who have the power to stop this, and help Ayle and others like her.

    Gosh, in my naivete, I thought somehow this issue had been resolved, or at least mitigated, thanks to a greater consciousness on the part of our society and involvement of the entire school community…that maybe the world IS a better place than when I was in middle school 35 years ago. Apparently, I was wrong.

    I, too, was bullied by the “popular girls” who used to surround me and hurl stupid comments like “I hate you” and “You make me sick” because I used to get outstanding grades, or because I made my own clothes (out of creative desire, as well as financial need).

    I now feel spared, because at least I was not called “whore” or “slut” or “lesbo”…and perhaps our world is an uglier place 35 years later, after all, as it seems we gone backwards.

    And while it is true that things will get better once she is out of the middle and high school (I am living proof: I went left town – another town, not Westport – and blossomed), telling that to Ayle will not help with the pain she feels everyday and the indignity that she suffers at the hands of her cruel tormentors.

    Something must be done NOW to help her and others like her, BEFORE something bad happens. She holds up the word “HELP” — does she need to say anything MORE ???

    PS. I was also disturbed to note that Ayle attends Bedford Middle School (not that it makes a difference – I’ve been told that Coleytown MS girls are especially vicious). My son is a sixth grader at Bedford and I periodically ask him if he is aware of any bullying or mean kids at school…he says he is not. (He is a gentle giant of a kid and I encourage him to tell a teacher, and to tell me, if he sees anyone getting bullied or if he is ever bullied).

    PPS. However, Interested Reader: often times, speaking with the offenders’ parents does little: they are often as UGLY (inside) and INSENSITIVE as their children (which is why their children are behaving that way). It really is incumbent upon the school administration – those who are our children’s “keepers” during the school day when we are not present – to be vigilant and insist on a zero-tolerance policy on Bullying and name-calling.

  5. Stop asking the school to be the parent. If parents can’t handle their own 2 kids how are a couple of administrators supposed to be “parents” of 600-800 kids? Middle School sucks. Always has, always will. The most effective response to a bully has always been a punch in the nose. That’s now off the menu.

    • Most bullying happens at school. Forget the parents. They have
      produced the monster. Have a hearing. Boot the kid.

    • you’re response is cold, coarse, ineffectual, and unrealistic. that is like saying to cities “stop having police enforce laws.” these are middle school children! they do not have the ability to perceive how their words and actions can damage another person. It is our job as responsible adults to guide them when they are in our presence. That means teachers are on-call to instruct and guide at all times and not let these kids act like beasts.

      obviously you want this “off the menu” because you don’t want to think that people have a responsibility to act in a humane way. This will stay on the menu until these kids have the proper modeling from their parents and ALL of the responsible, caring adults in their lives. Many times the bully has been bullied, either by friends, siblings, or parents. I am wondering if are you a parent of one of the bulliers? i ask, only because you have very tolerance, compassion or empathy for Alye’s situation and experience.

      • That is a croak. These kids are far more mature than their parents at this age and exposed to many different things. It is a peer group production. Stop pampering them and go to the problem. The kids all know who the bullies are. They have known since 3rd grade. The school needs to deal with it. Swiftly.

  6. Shocked & Saddened

    I’m NOT asking the school to be the parent…I’m suggesting that since our kids are in school for 7+ hours a day, and therefore bullying often takes place at school, that the teachers and administration be alert to it, AND have the authority to take action if they see it happening.

    Just as there is a ZERO tolerance for use of “sticks and stones” (eg. kids get punished or suspended for violence at school), there should be retribution for bullying, name calling and mental torment.

    Studies have show that verbal abuse, whether it is in the context of domestic violence or school bullies, is as damaging as physical abuse…so why are we not protecting our kids ?

    “Middle School sucks” is not an answer: if this child – or any other – hurts herself – or worse – because of the emotional pain she is suffering – it will worse than “SUCK,” trust me.


  7. I am very proud of my daughter, Anabelle. Not all kids are mean. We need more kids like my daughter to step up and support kids who are being bullied!! Some kids do the right thing. Let’s not forget them either.
    K.. Porio

    • Shocked & Saddened

      You should be proud of Anabelle…she, and others like her, are to be commended for standing up to the bullies and supporting Alye and others. I often wish I had been so brave (I remember watching the “jocks” throw their half-eaten sandwiches at the “least-popular” kids in the cafeteria, all those years ago, while the cheerleaders giggled — and the teachers – and I stood by – and did nothing. I was afraid I would be further tormented. I’m not sure why the teachers didn’t act.)

    • Kim, I had your email address for a while from MTC days, but can’t find it. Just wanted to give props to your daughter for her strong voice.

      In your and my day, I remember middle school being stratified, but not mean. Staples was a little meaner but the sheer size of things diffused it.

      I have a daughter going into BMS next year and I am admittedly worried.

      Congratulations to Anabelle for being a strong voice, and also Alye for putting her story out there.

      Heidi McGee

  8. an interested reader

    Hmmm – it should be BOTH! Have you ever seen youtube teenage girl fights that have gotten so popular? They’re vicious and dangerous. Why are you advocating that? Why are you encouraging girls to act like boys? That’s not helping. Less testosterone here will help this situation. The school is just as reponsible in this as all of the parents are. In my day and upbringing, properly brought up girls did not engage in physical fighting, let alone the profanity and name calling that seem to be so much a part of this scene here — so that’s an absurd statement. “Punch in the nose.” Please. Do you have a daughter? How would you like it if she came home “punched?” Would you teach your young daugther to punch? Please!

    • Bullies need to be shamed. That’s how they are stopped. The punch in the nose can take many forms.

  9. The issue is the parents. This is learned behavior. Unfortunately a lot of this bullying happens on the computer, right under the parents’ noses. Parents and schools are overmatched and behind the curve on technology and the damage that can be done through its abuse.

    And what exactly do you mean by “retribution” for bullying?

    • Shocked & Saddened

      By retribution I mean: consequences or punishment: detention, suspension…whatever the school can administer for physical violence, so there should be for verbal abuse…maybe even doing community service, or finding a way the offender can learn to change their ugly behavior.

  10. (Thanks, Mr. Woog, for giving credit to Patch for breaking the story. I appreciate transparent and gracious journalism.)

    • John McCarthy

      Yes, this is how we roll on the internet. Dan gets it. Contrast that with the Other local blog’s “coverage” of this story, no reference to learning about it from Patch. Does Gordon surf YouTube looking for Westport related stories? If so, and he found this himself, Bravo…..If not…..

      • A solid 12 hours after Patch (and Dan) first published. What’s next, “Dewey Defeats Truman”? “Oh wait, we just got this great sunset photo with a rainbow over a polka-dot covered deer……”

  11. Middle School Mom

    It is a big leap to assume that the Westport school administration is not addressing bullying. In my experience, the schools are quite responsive to bullying, when they see it, and the teachers are on alert to look for it. But surely most bullies are not dumb enough to conduct their abuse within earshot of adults, many victims are not as brave as Alye to bring the subvert taunting to light, and when they do, there are always two sides to the story. The schools must continue to be vigilant, but it is up to parents and the larger community to instill in our children the qualities of empathy, compassion, tolerance and kindness.

  12. Everyone has their own impression of just how well the Westport school administration deals with bullies. I have been told by administrators that bullies have rights too, and that to label someone a bully is to invite a lawsuit from the parents of the accused. Furthermore, if there is no “formal” report of a bullying incident, it never happened. So it is the burden of the victim to file the “formal” report and hope that he or she does not end up in court once again being bullied.

    • Middle School Mom

      I can understand that approach, however frustrating it may be to the family of the victim. Labeling someone a bully, a very charged term these days, is not a trivial matter. The word “bullying” shouldn’t be attached to every single injustice served by pre-teens to their peers, as mis-labeling a child as a bully would be quite damaging to that child’s psyche and reputation. When the bullying isn’t observed by the staff, it is a matter of “she said she said” and the administration needs to tread carefully as a student could just as easily “bully” a peer by falsely claiming bullying.

  13. Richard Lawrence Stein

    I find it very interesting that now that this story has gone public… There is no response or info from the administration on how things were handled… Especially in our litigious society… That the parents have made no comments or spoken out…. When my younger sibbling was getting bullied my parents had me ride the bus to show strength in numbers…alye just let me know I can ride the bus again no problem… I’m sure we can show strength in numbers

    • Rumor has it there are cameras on the buses. If there is bullying on the buses, there should be a record.

      • Fact not rumor. Also Staples is chock full of cameras.

        • I was at a GFS PTA meeting Wednesday, and we were told that there are cameras and GPS on all buses. The administration can — and has — looked at the footage when a complaint is brought to their attention.

          • So if the school system has any record of bullying on a bus, can we assume that the problem is being addressed? Yeah right.

  14. The Dude Abides

    I have a 9th grade boy as a neighbor. Just moved here from London. Sweetest kid you would ever want to meet. During the bad snowstorms, he would walk the street asking people if they need help shoveling out their sidewalks or driveways. While not to the magnitude, this young man is finding much the same hurtful remarks and ostracization at Staples as did the gal on the video. Staples and the junior high schools have always been “clique” as far back as the 60’s when I attended. You don’t want to be UGLY, UNCOORDINATED, OR POOR in Westport schools. You will be tormented. Perhaps that is part of life. The world ain’t exactly friendly out there either if you haven’t noticed. BUT, I disagree with the comments that it originates or ends with the parents. If Principal Dodig believes, as he advocates in his recent message, that Staples is the “safest place in America,” then this kind of stuff should never happen. There should be ZERO tolerance for this kind of behavior and let the offenders explain their resulting suspensions to the college admissions.

    • Wrong. Parents are responsible for the character and morality of their children. It is this failure to instill values and a sense of decency that produces the horrendous behavior we have seen in communities across America. The school can and will punish those who violate the anti-bullying policy (although this is far more difficult to prove than you might think).

      • The Dude Abides

        Any child psychologist will tell you that values are instilled in children by the age of five years of age. Peer groups take over much from there. Children are a product of our culture and if you so depict their behavior as such, then blame our society. As a former federal prosecutor, I can assure you that bullying is NOT hard to prove at all. You can not be afraid to do it, however. In many cases, the teachers are as afraid of the cool kids as are the victims.

        • Chicken and egg; who produces “our culture”? It is endogenous. No one to blame but ourselves?

          • The Dude Abides

            Well, why is it so important to blame someone. Certainly bullying is a product of our culture and society. You think these people are aliens? Bullies find reinforcement from their peer group to behave as they do. They have now found technology as their aid as well. The key is to stop it when it surfaces. Bullies have been around forever but the tolerance of such seems to have diminished if you believe the comments on this blog.

          • Is there any bigger bully than the federal government? Is that government a reflection of our values? One man’s bullying is another’s law enforcement. We don’t seem to mind pushing people around as long as we do it as part of a crowd.

          • The Dude Abides

            Well, we were accused of being bullies under FIREAA and prosecutions resulting from the first banking crisis. But
            most depositors did not lose a penny as a result. I do hear the
            cry now and actually we could use a federal bully for the
            Wall Street crooks and they wouldn’t be just using hateful words.

          • As I posted, one man’s bullying is another’s law enforcenment.

          • Except these are kids and not “men.”

          • Yes but, here we are weeping and wailing about bullying in one segment of society while encouraging it in another. The message is muddled.

        • Blaming society is the first line of defense for the parents of bullies once confronted with the misdeeds of their children. Parents can and should control access to what passes nowadays as our “culture.” Instead they expect the school and the television (and now the computer) to raise their children. The results are quite predictable.

          I didn’t know the DOJ prosecuted thirteen year olds for bullying. Learn something new everyday.

          • The Dude Abides

            No but the DOJ confers with state authorities on prosecutions as in the recent suicide of a Massachusetts teenager which with the hard drive is fairly easy to trace. You live in a dream world if you think the typical parental unit is Ozzie and Harriett. Most are single parent families and work to make a living. Bullies are promoted from their peer group and usually because of size and bravado.

          • Your generalized view of bullying is the anachronism- there are no size and bravado requirements for cyber bullies. And sorry but most children in America are still raised in tw0-parent households. Certainly this is the case in Westport. Teach your kids right from wrong, and if you can’t do that, at least teach them what the penalties are if they break the rules.

          • The Dude Abides

            You hit the nail on the head. There are no penalities, either by the parents, schools and/or peers. My daughter was tormented her freshman year at SMU for wanting to study instead of partying by her suitemates.
            The kids wouldn’t listen to us. School said for them to work it out. Simple solution: New dorm. Not so simple with younger kids. I would still bet that most of this bullying occurs at school and may play out in cyperspace. There are legal remedies to the latter but not at school. There needs to be a forum for bullying complaints and strict punishment for those offenders. YOUR view of parenting is the anachronism. “My Johnny can do no wrong” is the parental mantra of this day. Ask any teacher. Schools have to take the lead and are in Massachusetts following the suicide of the high school student there.

  15. Estelle Margolis

    You may want to consider that the person who wrote the really disgusting, mean message probably feels very ugly and mean about him/her self!
    Bullies are always deeply unhappy. Most of the time have been bullied or abused themselves and stike out because they have no other way to handle all their bad feelings. You can pity someone who feels “better” when they hurt other people. What an awful way to live!
    You have more friends than you know. Form a club.
    Love, Estelle Margolis

    • The Dude Abides

      Sorry Ms. Margolis, not going to feel sorry for bullies. They
      need to be dealt with or else they end up in Washington.

  16. Bullies, especially female bullies, tend not to translate too well into adulthood. And, by adulthood, I mean college; so, Alye, relief for you, it comes that soon. Don’t let the poor behaviour of a few degenerates, shape you.

    Having been part of a high school clique that dictated to the rest of the school who was to be revered, ignored and menaced, (though I didn’t participate in it, told my friends to stop, and went so far as to invite and truly welcome those they tormented to my parties), I can tell Alye that there must be something really exceptionally-lovely about her that they feel threatened by.

    I knew a lot of the kids that my friends tormented because I was in same language and elective classes as they were. And, what I realized early on is that my friends fixed in on them because our boyfriends had complimented the subsequently bullied girls in some way. Either it was their intelligence, creativity, demeanor. So what ever you are, keep being it and just ignore them. They are not worth your attention.

  17. an interested reader

    Shocked and Saddened — you’re right on and the school has to do something. If they’ve been alerted to the situation, there’s no way they can sit on their hands and not be accountable for what happens on their watch to this girl. Even that horrible comment to the video can be used as evidence that she’s been bullied by peers at her school, and with some of the most demeaning and hurtful language a young soul should have to endure. She will never ever forget this and both school, parents and the bullying students need to account for hurting a young life like this. This isn’t just middle school cruelty. And hey, aren’t we, as humans supposed to be evolving , and one generation becoming better than the previous ones?
    Your own story, S&S, is too sad and I do get your comment about the parents — as they say, the fruit never falls far from the tree. Suspension and then expulsion if it doesn’t stop sound good to me.

  18. As the father of two high school-age daughters, Alye’s cry for help is heartbreaking — and it brought back recent memories. My youngest daughter, than 15 was walking home from summer school here in the Riverdale section of the Bronx when she was suddenly surrounded by about 20 students, most of whom were girls. The two ringleaders, also girls, threatened her with violence. My daughter used every means possible to calm the confrontation, as she had been taught. Finally, though, she was pushed into her chief tormentor and the fight began. It supposed to be a walkover and thus other kids were recording the action. My daughter, though, knowing there was no other recourse, drilled her chief tormentor in the eye, dropping her to the sidewalk. Then mele became full-blown. A friend of hers took my daughter out of danger and nearby construction workers broke up the brawl. The video was on YouTube in minutes. The school’s initial response was to suspend my daughter from summer school, a suspension that was quickly rescinded when I appeared. However, school administrators refused to watch the video which, fortunately, somehow found its way to channel 4 NBC in NY and lead the 11 o’clock news that night. The next day, apparently after a phone call to the school from the NYC schools chancellor’s office, the perpetrators were expelled. My daughter, who now plays varsity soccer and softball, was never again bullied. I was a football player at Staples and, at 190 pounds, was never bullied, nor was my friend and classmate, the Dude, who was a fine athlete there during the 60s. But bullying occured all around us and was ugly. I think it’s uglier now than then. Junior high — BJHS — was much worse than Staples. Keep on Alye, life will be better soon.

  19. I sincerely hope that this video results in some soul searching throughout our middle and high school. No child should feel unsafe at school, and the mental tools needed to put this reprehensible behaviour into a healthy perspective (i.e. – it truly DOES get better) are beyond the maturity of most of those suffering.
    However , for those of you who feel that this is a problem for parents to take ownership of – I am afraid that this is only a viable solution in a perfect world. It has been my experience that in all likelihood the bully lives in a home where he/she is suffering already. They lack empathy for a reason. You don’t have to feel sorry for them, but odds are they are beaten or marginalized at home.
    I believe the administration does the best that they can under the enormous pressure and legal requirement to protect every student’s right to privacy.
    Victims must speak out, and fellow students should feel empowered and encouraged to step in and stand up against cruelty.

  20. Oddly enough, my daughter has told me that she has actually been bullied by Alye! The 8th grade class at Bedford is a really nice group of kids. The teachers and administrators are constantly telling us parents that this is one of the nicest classes that has come through Bedford and we should be very proud. I’m sorry this girl is suffering but let’s not rush to judgement without knowing all the facts. I do feel the comment posted by the kid on Youtube was disgraceful. Please know the person who posted that comment is the exception at BMS and not the example.

    • Sadly I think that comment was probably posted by an adult. Such a well-constructed excoriation does not look like the handiwork of a 13 year old, attempts at juvenilization via non-capitalization and poor punctuation aside. Realize as well that it could have been posted by some total stranger who saw the video on you tube and simply used her own words against her. Or perhaps it is my own wishful thinking that no one so young and so close could be so vicious.

    • Gawd lady, drink some more kool aid. What do you think the teachers are gonna tell you? That there is a bunch of hoodlums at BMS or that they are 2 grades behind in math/science as the same kids in India?

    • Here’s proof that the parents of the bullies will back up their children’s lies and not dig deeper! Lady, my guess is that your daughter is trying to save her own butt by saying “Alye did it first!” You aren’t helping your daughter by covering up for her. This is the worse reply on the blog today. When our kids were growing up, we were away from home one day and an 8th grade acquaintance of our son came in our house with a couple of other kids and went out on our roof. The neighbor told me. When I called the mother (a friend of mine) because I was worried that he could have fallen off the roof, she immediately said that Vincent wouldn’t have done it. Well, a minute later, when I guess Vincent remembered that some adults had seen him, proof positive, I heard him talking in the background and then my friend said to her son, “What do you MEAN? I thought you told me you hadn’t done it.” She believed him first without trying to ascertain the facts.

      I hope this parent wakes up and starts to watch her daughter and friends and isn’t so naive. After watching YouTube, do you really think that Alye (beautiful, lovely young woman) isn’t tormented?

  21. As another mom of a Bedford student posted, there is more to this situation than is apparent from Allye’s video as well as other postings. My understanding from my child who is a student at BMS is that this is a far more complicated situation. What is clear is that Allye is calling out for help.

  22. Hi Alye. I’m an adult Westport resident who is glad you spoke out and asked for help. You are good and strong and right to make your suffering from bullying open and public. If nothing else, just speaking out will strengthen your resolve and help you get the tools you or anyone else would need to get through this….all in one beautiful courageous piece.

  23. The Dude Abides

    I watched the video three times again this morning. This child needs some professional help and more than guidance counselors can give her. Whether this is some kind of theatrical charade to garner attention or a deep seated plea for help, there seems to some thoughts of suicide. This young lady needs some serious counseling with a doctor.

  24. Nancy Powers Conklin

    Regarding “Peaceable Kingdom,” Westport has another tie to this term/famous painting. In the 70s(??) Rob Carlson and Jon Gailmor, former Staples Orphenians and choir members, released a record album titled, “Peaceable Kingdom.” That was the title track on the album. I have that album and have an updated copy, since the vinyl is scratched and does not play well. I listen to it often and sing along when driving down the road. It was and still is a great record album with the two singers in great form! Miss your singing together. I know Rob & Jon have gone their separate ways, but, it was great listening to them in concert then or on record/cd now. Thanks for the memories, guys!

    • Yep — that’s how I first knew of the painting, and the story behind it. “Peaceable Kingdom” — the song and the album — are superb. Beautiful music, by two very talented guys. I will cherish it — and their friendship — always.

  25. Shocked & Saddened

    Agree with the Dude – I also watched a number of times (ok, I’m not a doctor or a trained psychologist) and concluded that this is a cry for (professional) help; and also to Anonymous’ point (posted at 9:54 am) “My understanding from my child who is a student at BMS is that this is a far more complicated situation. What is clear is that Allye is calling out for help.”

    Two issues here:
    1. Bullying, whether verbal or physical, is real and happening in our community, and it can have tragic effects on a person’s life and self-esteem (we have all experienced it ourselves or vicariously through someone we know or care about)…it needs to be dealt with conclusively.
    2. Alye put out this cry for help (whatever the cause or reason).

  26. Been There...

    Alye, I was bullied in 7th grade at Coleytown on the bus and it felt like I had no friends, and came home crying everyday. I am now a Senior at Staples, and I can say that bullying is highly untolerated in my household. Life does get better, do not give up. Keep your head high, and something that kept me going was listening to my iPod so I would not have to hear people. I hope that this helps you, and I am sorry you have to go through with those girls.
    To those of you who think that there is no bullying here in Westport, you are seriously mistaken. It happened to me, and it took a long time to get help. We need to get the administrators at ALL schools to see this a major problem and have a major consequence.
    To the girls who bully this innocent girl. How could you? Does it make you feel better about yourself? How would you feel if this happened to you? I hope that you girls change before you get to Staples, because honestly, I have seen no bullying at Staples. Bullying will get you nowhere in life.

  27. Make Your Own Kind of Music

    This is coming from a Staples student:
    Bravo to Alye. High school changes EVERYTHING.

    Part of the problem lies with parents. Every parent likes to think that his or her child is a DARLING when in reality THEY ARE NOT. Kids put on a show. An alarming number of parents don’t realize that their kids drink even when they get wasted, and I mean WASTED, each and every weekend.

    It’s the same thing with bullying. What parent would like to think that their child is being cruel at school? Yet they are… many of the “popular” kids are ARROGANT, INTIMIDATING, and often mean. Perhaps they change their tune while at home, but they certainly do not while at school… and while on Facebook.

    I URGE parents to become friends with their children ON FACEBOOK. What child wants to tell their parents that kids at school call them “fat” or “lesbo”? What child wants to tell their parents that they call kids at school “fat” or “lesbo”? Check your child’s Facebook profile every so often… Parents don’t realize it, but they often have the power stop bullying in its tracks. Everything that your child writes or comments on shows up on THEIR Facebook profile.

    The only way that this bullying can end is if parents realize that it is happening… not necessarily just that their children are being bullied but that THEIR CHILDREN may be THE BULLIES.

    • Great comments, and if parents really want to know about their kids they should also ask to see their formspring. And if you don’t know what that is you better find out quick.

      • Uh, for those of us in the older generation, any chance you can tell us what a “formspring” is?

        • It is essentially an “ask me a question” website. Sounds innocent enough. But it is tailor-made for insecure young people who sign up, put a link to it on their facebook, and wait for their supposed “friends” to ask them questions anonymously. So maybe someone will ask you, anonymously, “what is your favorite flavor of ice cream?” ANd then you post an answer. Or maybe someone will ask you, anonymously, “why are you so fat?” Or maybe someone will ask you, anonymously, “are you a virgin?” Or maybe someone will ask you, anonymously, “why don’t you jump off the George Washington bridge?” It is the cyberbully’s perfect weapon. Yes, you can choose not to respond, but the damage is done not by the answer but by the question. It preys on those insecure enough to wonder if the world is telling them the truth about themselves. It is addictive, soul-crushing, and I wish it was illegal.

  28. Alye, thanks for speaking out. I KNOW that this subject is going to be on the lips of many parents this week, so thanks for being so brave and dignified in the way you made the YouTube. The administration can’t overlook this when a Deep Dark Secret has come out. Those words were just horrendous (although I liked the suggestion to listen to an iPod instead. Don’t know if it will work) and makes me feel that our daughter was right to decide not to move her kids to the Westport schools. Hang in there, Alye.

    • It ain’t just Westport schools, there Bravo. Nationwide problem. But at least a gal from Westport had enough spunk to sound out. I agree with the Dude too, she needs to see a shrink for counseling.

  29. all of these comments are from adults that don’t even understand what goes on in middle school. i’m a high school girl and i’ve been there. i know what its like. having a mom call a bullies mom does nothing. what SHOULD be done is instead parents, the school, and classrooms should not promote cliques. cliques are the root of all bullying. if there were assigned seats in the cafeteria, divided lunch waves (like in high school) and parents who didn’t promote friend groups (BECAUSE THEY JUST WANT THEIR KIDS TO BE FRIENDS WITH THEIR FRIENDS KIDS BECAUSE WESTPORT PARENTS ARE GOSSIPING WOMEN) then middle school would be a complete different situation. also, the guidance department doesn’t even help. when I was in middle school the guidance counselor encouraged gossip and would repeat things that students had told her in confidence. do you want to solve bullying? take those steps.

    to the girl in this video: I know what this is like. i know it feels like the end of the world. but I PROMISE YOU, it gets so much better. it all goes away. you might not believe me, in fact, i was told the same thing when i was your age and i didn’t believe it either, but it does. once it gets better you will look back and laugh at those girls. trust me, karma will come back around.

  30. Well said STUDENT. A mind with solutions as well. But is anybody listening???

  31. A standing ovation to Alye for her courage,bravery and leadership. Well done and thanks on behalf of all other students and parents that have had to deal with this ugly diseases that has infested our schools and community. We claim to have the best schools in the state but what good is that if we are missing the basic element of human relations . The old excuse of “it happens everywhere” or “its the norm to be mean” just does not hold up. It is time for our community to deal with this cancer and put a plan in place to teach human relations and social skills to our kids at a young age.

  32. Princeton '82

    Bullying is nothing new in Westport. Bullying via cyperspace is new.
    There are many good suggestions within the confines of the comments
    to this article. I suggest parents/school administrators take heed. Pass the word on this blog article. Awareness is the power.

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