WARNING: This video contains sensitive material. Discretion is advised.
Cassidy Slater’s emotional plea to stop bullying has garnered attention from around the world.
The 10-year-old from Pennsylvania recently posted a heartbreaking video on Facebook, asking her bullies to stop tormenting her. The Grade 4 student at John Adams Elementary School in Scranton also shared her own stories of getting bullied using signs.
“One day during recess, a group of kids grabbed my purse off a teacher, and spit on it and me,” she wrote on the sign. “The group of kids always come up to me during recess, trying to fight me. They hit me, kicked me, pulled my hair, pushed me, stepped on me, spot on me…”
Slater adds if she sits at a table during lunch, others get up. “Kids don’t want to go near me,” she continued.
Last week, the 10-year-old’s mother, Jenn Slater, reposted her daughter’s plea on Facebook after the social media site took it down. Facebook users have to be at least 13 to have an account.
“She was threatened by the principal to remove the video or he was going to report it and he was successful,” she claimed on the social media page.
“But this does not stop here, I will be my daughter’s voice I will share her story and I hope others will share too, this Isn’t about the shares or views or if it goes viral its about spreading awareness although seeing that smile on Cassidy’s face each time the number of views and shares got larger that was everything.”
Speaking with ABC News, Cassidy’s father, James Warner, said he was devastated when he saw the video first posted on his daughter’s Facebook page.
“I don’t know how to explain how it made me feel. … Even talking about it, I get choked up,” he told the news site.
Warner says that on April 2, he met with the school’s principal and district’s superintendent to come up with ways to support his daughter.
“I never once tried to put the blame on the school,” Warner told ABC. “The whole purpose was to let everybody see that these kids are not supposed to be feeling like this.”
Sticking up for children
Child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts, the founder of parenting resource website Family Sparks, tells Global News the mother did the right thing to repost and share her daughter’s story.
“Standing up to this kind of abuse is empowering,” she says. “Parents need to establish themselves as the ‘go-to’ person in their children’s lives. To do this, they must always be accessible and willing to listen to what their children need to say.”
Even for Warner, he didn’t know the extent of his daughter’s bullying problem until he saw this video.
“They must ensure that they thank their children for coming to them and they must respond in a calm and thoughtful manner. Believe your child. … By doing so, parents will help ensure that their children will feel comfortable coming to them over and over.”
She adds parents also need to help determine which problems children can figure out themselves and which one needs parental intervention.
“Any kind of serious abuse, and chronic abuse, needs parental involvement. If problems need parental help, I would encourage parents to speak to the child’s teacher to ensure safety measures are in place while the situation is assessed. If the teacher takes no action, go to the principal. If the school administrators are not doing this, then I encourage parents to seek support from the school board office. I encourage all school administrators to believe the child; this should be the default until the situation is assessed.”
After Slater’s video went viral, thousands of positive messages flowed in to support the child. Actor Hugh Jackman even shared it on his Facebook page.
“I want you to know you’re loved, special & smart. You’re strong, funny & beautiful both inside and out. BULLYING IS NOT OK. Please never stop asking for help. You will find it from people and places you never thought possible. I’m your friend,” he wrote on the social media site.
Roberts adds parents must work together to ensure the child feels safe at school and should always encourage them to speak up.
“Bullying is damaging to a child’s mental well-being. Children need to learn that they must not simply accept it.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.