Ashlynn Conner, a pretty ‘All-American’ girl, was driven to suicide by bullies at just 10 years old.
The day before she died, Ashlynn came home in tears.
Kids had bullied Ashlynn for years, calling her a “slut,” “fat,” and “ugly,” so that day’s incident seemed relatively minor to [her mother] Stacy: The girls had poked fun at Ashlynn’s initials, “A.C.,” saying it sounded like “air conditioner.”
Three different teachers at the school had told Ashlynn to “stop tattling” after she reached out for help, the girl told her mother. It was the Thursday before Veterans Day, and Stacy told Ashlynn she should go straight to the principal the following Monday if the bullying continued.
“But she didn’t want to wait until Monday,” Stacy told The Daily.
Ashlynn’s older sister found her hanging by her neck from a scarf in a bedroom closet on Friday night. She was pronounced dead before 9 p.m. at a local hospital, another inconceivably young victim of elementary school bullying.
It starts so fucking early and teachers at the elementary school level don’t seem to have a clue how serious it is. I had a similar experience from kindergarten to eighth grade (so pretty much only when I switched to an arts high school that at the time did not have bullying problems). I was pretty much told not to cry, not to let it get to me, not to “tattle”, not to feel anything, etc. for that nine year period of my life and I was miserable, but told not to show it like that was going to mak it go away.
This is just…. really frustrating and hits way too close to home.
You see this, terrible things like this, is why I am the way I am. I had people who tried to bully me in elementary school, but as I have always been, it never phases me. Something about it just doesn’t register in my mind, and it means nothing to me. But I see it happening to other people, and I understand it, so I was able to recognize other kids being bullied. And, like this, the teachers did nothing but blame the kid who was the recipient of it, and it’s fucking sick, I’ve known that since I was seven years old but adults can’t seem to get it through their thick fucking skulls. Children have feelings, they know pain, they know hurt. I went out of my way to make friends with people who were bullied to this point, because I knew that if they didn’t have at least one person who they felt liked them, they could be driven to something like this. I wish I could’ve been friends with this beautiful girl, because she didn’t deserve this. Neither does anyone else, child, adolescent, or adult. This world makes me sick.
As someone who works in education, I’m afraid there is <i>VERY</i> little we can actually do - however, to tell a child to “stop tattling” is completely inappropriate. If any kind of bullying is reported it needs to be investigated as thoroughly as possible - even if we can take no action. It’s really sad to think of anyone taking their own life, but a ten year old? This is beyond heartbreaking.
I hope her bullies, and those who told her to stop tattling, feel guilty for this.