Hartford, Conn (WTNH) - The topic of bullying has been on a lot of peoples' minds lately. It takes a big toll on both kids and their parents, and now new technology like Facebook can make things even worse.
Recently we've been getting stories of bullying from Westport, New London, to West Hartford, and several other towns. It's on the minds of people that something needs to be done about it.
"Some of them poured syrup in my hair. Some of them tripped me, harassed me on Facebook, physically harassing me," said Monique McClain of Middletown.
McClain hasn't been to school in Middletown for nearly two months because of bullies. She's been harassed and threatened in-person, online, and on the phone.
But in New London, it wasn't the internet, but the sidewalk chalk used to bully a 10-year-old girl. It says 'I killed Kassey' written in big letters right at the girl's bus stop.
"Oh my God. How could somebody even write that about a ten-year-old girl? She's so sweet and innocent," the girl's mother said.
Kassey and her mom don't want to use their faces on-air, for fear of retaliation from other bullies, who the mom says are also 10-years-old.
"Every day pretty much she's coming home crying, upset because of something which has happened at school," she said.
"Kids need to come to school and they need to feel safe, and obviously, kids don't feel safe right now," said Dr. Marialice Curran from Saint Joseph's College in West Hartford.
Curran teaches a class on bullying to future educators, and right now she says there are more and more bullying incidents because there are more and more ways out there to send the message or hurt.
"The bullies reach used to be the school yard, now it's social media. It's 24-7, and so of course kids are feeling this tremendous pressure because they can't get away from it. There's a new term out there about Facebook depression, and kids are being diagnosed with this," Curran said.
13-year-old Alye Pollack was depressed and in counseling after she says she was attacked and bullied on the web for years, but she fought back and made her own video that has gone viral, with nearly 50,000 views so far.
"It's so weird. I originally thought it would get, like, 200 views, at most. This is just crazy," she said.
She holds up cards with words and names used to torture her. She wants students at her school in Westport, and others around the world, to know bullying is wrong. It's something Dr. Curran said there needs to be more of.
"It comes right back to respect. We need to get back to core values, talking about respecting yourself and respecting others," said Curran.
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