Stand Up and Stop the Madness..a Year Later…

I wrote a post almost a year ago…  The title of the post was “Time to Stand Up and STOP the Madness”   It really stopped me in my tracks at the time.  You see, I guess I never  realized the depth of the problem.  Bullying IS a problem, that continues today.  The fact that today as I type this, the statistics are unacceptable.

I asked one of Ashlynn Conner’s relatives to write for me, partly because I wanted to put her story out there, partly to help ease the pain that they all still feel to this day.    November 11, 2011, Ashlynn Conner took her own life due to bullying.  This is one of her relatives, Kaylee Jo Hughes story….  Thank you to Kaylee for writing and also Thank you for Sharing…

Many of you seen it on the news. We know the story reached across the nation and to parts of Europe even. A few heard the rumors. So little of you know the pain. I’m here today to share the truth. It softens my hard exterior to repeat this story. Yet I am aware that it is something I must continue to do. The message needs to be kept alive. This is a pain I would wish on no other.

     On December 2, 2000, a wonderful bright child came into our lives. I can’t exactly remember the day. I was 11. But I remember that baby. She was so happy. I remember my family telling us she was almost born in the toilet. She was blessed as she was coming into this world. I remember her first Oreo. She had it all over herself and in her playpen. She brought so much joy to our family.
     As she got older the memories continued to build. She loved to clean. This was indeed a special kid. I came over one day to find her standing on the counter to reach the top of the fridge to clean it. I remember her staying the night and waking up to a spotless living room. She was always so curious too. I know the word “why” was one of her favorites. But she was such an intelligent little girl. Always got good grades in school. But my favorite memory of her, something I often imagine, was her smile. You rarely caught her without it. It was infectious. That smile took up her entire face.
     To think that anyone could cause that smile to fade or to make such a girl feel so low is unfathomable to me. But they did. From the young age of 5, kids in the neighborhood and even one adult would bully her. From her hair to her weight. She was tormented. For the purposes of being a mature adult, I will not mention the names of the bullies but they know who they are. I know they don’t feel responsible at all. But to us that know who they are and those that know the truth, you are responsible.
     And let me put some rumors to rest. This child was not abused and did not come from an unhappy home. That rumor is quite laughable to me and those close to our family. Ashlynn had more love than she knew what to do with. She was the light in all of our eyes. Her presence alone could warm up the coldest of hearts.
     Ashlynn took the necessary steps toward reporting and resolving the bullying. Her teachers were informed. They had spoken with the teachers, the kids and the principal. Right before her suicide a teacher had told her to “quit tattling.” The system failed because the people in the system failed. On November 11, 2011, Ashlynn’s sister went into her room to check on her. She found her sister hanging by a scarf in the closet. Our grandma preformed CPR until the paramedics showed up. She was rushed to the hospital but was unable to be saved. Ashlynn died that night and so did a piece of all of us. Our family hasn’t been the same since. I don’t think it ever will be.
     The days and weeks after were hectic. News reporters were everywhere. Police investigators rarely were seen. We already knew the truth but more came out. I don’t want to go into too much detail on why we knew it was bullying that caused this. Some of the information involves other kids the same age that Ashlynn spoke with. I am not here to air anyone else’s issues. But the police had the same information as we did. Many of you heard Sheriff Hartshorn’s statement made 24 hours after her death stating “we cannot find anything that would cause a 10-year-old girl to commit suicide.” Mind you none of us spoke with him. Also keep in mind that the sheriff has never been a 10-year-old girl.
     I don’t want to get too off topic of the real point here. But everything I have said has a point. The system failed Ashlynn in life and death. Bullying is a real issue. If you believe it isn’t I would suggest you look into the suicides within the last year. The majority were kids under the age of 16 committing suicide. Bullies have become more vicious than in recent years. Bullying can be in the form of verbal and physical abuse. Yes it is considered abuse when you consider the amount of pain a child has to feel to want to kill themselves. Kids are impulsive. They want the pain to end NOW. They don’t care to wait til they are grown up and forgotten all about it.
     Every day I wake up and think of Ashlynn. I know this is true for my family as well. I would give anything in the world to have her back. I would do anything to take the pain she felt away. No child deserves to feel that low. Suicide isn’t even something a child should know about. But she did. There is no going back now. But i believe we can move forward from this and for Ashlynn.
     If you, your child or anyone you know is being bullied or dealing with thoughts of hurting themselves or suicide, SPEAK UP! That is the best advice anyone can give you. Speak up and don’t stop speaking until the problem is resolved. Tell a teacher, tell the police, tell adults, tell parents, tell anyone that will listen. Speaking up hurts less than burying someone. The time for action is NOW. Don’t put it off. If you see a child being bullied, take a stand for that kid. If your child is being bullied at school, you better bully those teachers and staff until they do something about it. These are our kids and since some of the school officials wont protect them when they are in their care, then we will. If someone you know is having thoughts about hurting themselves or committing suicide, try again and again to get them to seek help. There are free counselors in every area if money is the issue. But don’t give up. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. I for one refuse to fall for bullying.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Kaylee.  I think about this little girl everyday, and I cannot imagine being in your shoes…..I only hope that putting this out there will help someone else who feels there is nothing left, but to commit suicide.    There truly is.
For my fellow bloggers….Please feel free to re-post… This is a subject close to my heart, re-post…if you can….this is just to put the word out there….I would like to help save some one if I can….

6 responses

  1. what a heart felt story and that poor child. adults really need to listen, stop tattling??? B.S.

  2. Brilliant and heartbreaking post. I am crying for that beautiful little girl.

    1. Julie, please put it out there…it is something we never want to go through….

  3. Thank you jo for continuing to keep her story and the message alive

  4. […] Stand Up and Stop the Madness..a Year Later… ( […]

  5. […] Stand Up and Stop the Madness..a Year Later… ( […]

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