Hello!
My name is Ashley Alanna Rothschild. I am a 20 year old student who wants to make a difference in the world by sharing my story with you.
All throughout my childhood, all I can remember is the times I came home crying, or the days I pretended to be sick so I would not have to go to school. Throughout Kindergarden to Eighth Grade, I was made fun of almost every single day. I was different then most others, I had a learning disability. All this meant was that I could not learn as fast as others and I had to work twice as hard to get a good grade. I didn’t mind being a little different until my peers starting calling me “stupid, retarded, mentally challenged, an idiot, ugly”.. I have heard most names in the book. Each day I started to hate myself more and more. One year I even cut off about 12 inches of my long hair and turned it in for a chin length hair cut to bring attention to anything else but my disability. I also was made fun of because unlike most of the girls, I didn’t wear any makeup or care about doing my hair perfectly each day, I cared more about enjoying life then being a barbie doll. I liked the idea of being all natural and not trying to impress anyone. Finally, one day in Seventh grade after years of being bullied, I came home crying to my parents. I couldn’t take the hurt anymore so I told them what had been going on in school and about one of the main girls who had been doing most of the bullying. My parents decided to call the girls parents to fill them in on what their daughter had been doing behind their backs. The following next couple days in school, I was extremely nervous because I did not know how this situation was going to go when I saw the girl and her clique of friends. It actually turned out for the best, and most of the bullying stopped after that.
As I got older I realized, its okay to be different. It took me years to admit to people I have a learning disability. Now, I am probably one of the most insecure people you could meet from being bullied in my past, BUT it also taught me that I can rise against it, and TAKE A STAND about it. No one deserves to be bullied in any shape or any form. The main reason why I am doing Miss Long Island is to overcome my insecurities and spread awareness about Bullying. I know that if i believe in myself I can overcome anything in life. I am lucky to have the loving support of my friends and family to help me overcome all the obstacles I face along the way, but in the end it is all worth it because I know I will be helping in the movement to make a Difference. I will not pretend to be to be someone I’m not. My name is Ashley Alanna Rothschild, I have a learning disability, I have been bullied, and I will not be afraid to rise above it all and show the world you can do anything you put your mind to.
If you are being bullied and are afraid to speak up, don’t be. There are more people then you think who have been in your shoes. You are not alone!

Love always,
Ashley Alanna Rothschild

Thank you SO much for sharing your story, Ashley! ┬áSo many kids with learning disabilities are bullied on a daily basis and are called names just like the ones you mentioned. While some kids think these names are justified because they’re “just kidding,” name calling is never okay, even when the person being called the names laughs along.

Thanks for all you’re doing to raise awareness for bullying, Ashley. Best of luck in Miss Long Island this summer!! :)

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Karrie, a mother of a young girl named Elise, and I connected over Twitter. Karrie was actually one of the very first people to help promote the Twitter, Facebook, and website for MyKindnessCounts. Karrie has encouraged and inspired me through her encouraging tweets, kind words, and her courageous battle against bullying for her daughter. With all that she and her daughter have been through, I thought her story might really resonate with other parents who are going through a similar situation with their own children. Thankfully, Karrie and Elise agreed to share there story with us. Before you read her story below, please watch the clip of Karrie and Elise being feature on a local news station:

In November of 2010, my daughter Elise started a long journey no child should ever have to take. It all started on the bus when a few older kids began teasing her. The teasing then led to one of the boys punching my daughter in the face, giving her a black eye. While we are still not sure why this happened, one theory is that this boy liked my daughter and was upset when she didn’t like him back.

Over the course of the next five months, Elise continued to be tormented on the bus. She was tripped, kicked, punched and shoved, and for each incident, I called the school to report what had happened. I was told by the school that these kids would have to sit in the front of the bus and if they tormented my daughter again, they would be kicked off the bus. This promise was not kept. Later in the school year, Elise’s chin was split open from being hit with a seat belt. The school nurse reported this incident to be an accident and told my daughter it was an accident as well. My daughter, terrified by what had happened, just went along with what the adult told her. Elise never rode the bus again that year and nothing was ever done to address the bullying behavior my daughter experienced.

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