Over the last couple of weeks 15-year old Casey Heynes has become a viral sensation and overnight hero for fighting back against a 12-year old bully. Video footage of Casey body slamming his bully has gotten millions of views from fans cheering him on. But is violence really the best response to bullying? 13-year old Alye Pollack doesn’t think so. Alye has been bullied since the sixth grade, called everything from fat to ugly to freak. But rather than dropkicking her bullies, Alye is fighting back peacefully with a moving YouTube video.
In the video, aptly called ‘Words are worse than Sticks and Stones’, Alye doesn’t say a word. She holds up signs that tell her story. The signs begin, “Hi! My name is Alye. I am in 8th grade. Do I look happy? Well, I’m not. I’ve been like this since 6th grade. I don’t have many friends. Why? I am bullied.” She goes on to explain (through written signs) that she is in therapy more than class, doesn’t cut because of the bullying but has thought about it, and is afraid that things will get even worse in high school. She asks for help. “Think before you say things. It might save lives. Don’t be a killer.” Words are worse that sticks and stones. You go, Alye!
Alye’s video has been viewed over 28,500 times so far and, according to her mother, Audra Pollack, she and her family have gotten a lot of support from the community as a result. Audra said in an interview with Westport Now, an online news source in Westport, Connecticut, “I’m very proud of her. Some of it was for dramatic effect, but it was valid. The biggest statement we can make as a family is that when God is in the midst of things, they explode.”
Alye’s mother says that her daughter made the video entirely on her own. She didn’t even find out about it until after it was posted. She says, “She’s definitely complained about being bullied, but it was more in the sense of how to deal with it, not, ‘Mom, let’s do something about it.’” Well now Alye is doing something about it.
It took a lot of courage for Alye to upload this video. Here’s hoping that it will open the eyes of some of the bullies out there who just don’t understand the devastating effects that their words can have.