Most days, Katie Goldman’s life is like any other 8-year-old's. But every so often, there's a reminder of the time one year ago, when schoolyard teasing made her a Star Wars celebrity, when she became a symbol of geeks done wrong - and how to make things right.
Sometimes the reminders are simple, like when a new girl showed up in class, spied Katie’s Star Wars backpack and water bottle, and within days, felt comfortable enough to show her own nerd pride.
Sometimes, it's heart-tugging, like at GeekGirlCon, when a brigade of Storm Troopers formed an honor guard, a line of protection - for Katie.
And sometimes, it's huge, like today: Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars Day, a celebration of geekdom and giving that was inspired by Katie's story.
Last year, Katie wanted to hide away her Star War wear after her classmates teased that Star Wars was just for boys. Her mother, heartbroken for her daughter, blogged about the experience. It flew across blogs, social media and news sites, along with the Twitter hashtag #maytheforcebewithkatie. The grown-up geek community knew Katie's pain, and responded with thousands of supportive comments, plus donations of toys, clothes and books, many of which went to students at Katie’s school.
It became Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars Day, and this year, thousands on Facebook promised to show off their Star Wars fandom and donate merchandise for kids. At Katie’s school in Illinois, they call it Proud To Be Me Day, and kids are encouraged to show off what they love and what makes them unique.
"But some things are permanently different," said Carrie Goldman, Katie's mom.
Katie's entire school has embraced anti-bullying techniques that involve teaching kids to respect what makes everyone different, to understand that kids who bully others can also be victims.
Just as Katie has learned to defend girls who like Star Wars, she defended a boy at a birthday party who said he wanted his nails painted like the girls there.
“[Katie has] internalized how completely OK it is to do what you want to do,” Goldman said.
It’s changed life for her mom, too. Last year, when Goldman first shared Katie’s story on her blog, Portrait of an Adoption, it mostly served a small adoption community. Thousands of page views and comments later, she said, the audience has grown.
That means Goldman is more careful when sharing stories about her kids, although she still shows updates of Katie in her Princess Leia costume, or her homemade R2-D2 cake.
“She’s a self-conscious girl. People will approach her and say, ‘Are you Star Wars Katie?’ and she gets shy,” Goldman said. “I ask myself before every story I write, ‘How will Katie feel about this one day?’ I think that’s good and healthy.”
Goldman now writes more about broader parenting and adoption issues, and is writing a book about bullying. It's based on research and interviews, Goldman said, but includes the story of Katie, the wise ways her school reacted and the tremendous ways the Star Wars community responded. “Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear” will be published next summer by Harper Collins.
And even a year after Katie's story hit the Internet, the Goldmans stay in touch with the geek girls who first shared the story and encouraged Katie's Star Wars fandom. Katie got the message – “loud and clear,” Goldman said – that she's safe to pursue what inspires and excites her.
“I know, every now and then, I’ll get a note of support,” Goldman said. “ ‘How’s Katie doing? We’re still thinking of her.’ ”
And that old backpack of Katie's? It's frayed, cracked and falling apart, but Katie carries it to school every single day.
I made it on to CNN! That's me in the Sandtrooper armor :)
Carrie is a very down to earth young lady. Funny too.
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Who cares? She needs to suck it up and tell the kids she like this and stop being a victim.
Yes because clearly being told that what you like is stupid isn't emotionally devastating. Let's see how you do when people gang up on you and rip into you about something you're passionate about.
My forgotten, da Bosses will do terrible tings to me TERRRRRIBLE is me going back der!
Hush it, you ruined Episode 1.
Kind of funny- whoever started the rumor that Katie's parents are investment bankers is totally wrong. Her dad is a high school teacher and has been for his entire working life. Her mom used to be a banker but has been an artist and a writer for years. So funny that some of you wasted time focusing on incorrect facts instead of on an amazing story of love.
Katie, you rock!
It's good to know you're doing so well.
There are plenty of your geek brothers and sisters out there in the world. Star Wars fans, Star Trek fans, Trekkers, Trekkies, et. al.
Keep up your studies and live your life.
May the Force be with you. Live long and prosper!
Not that I delved into the details too much, but this story always struck me as odd when it first came out a year ago. This girl was and will be for a few more years at least be the key demographic that Star Wars toys and merchandise cater to. Go to Toys R Us and you will see at least 3 aisle dedicated to Star Wars. Lucas has made millions off these kids. So why was this one being picked on? I'm just saying, at < 10 Star Wars is not a geek thing, it's a kids thing.
i think it was "girly" girls making fun of her.....girls are cruel and mean...if you dont do what they all do....you are outcast and doomed for harrassment....
I don't understand why she was picked on for Star Wars being "for boys." In both the first & second franchises, one of the major characters is a female! I still have my Princess Leia doll from 1977 – obviously I didn't consider it a "boys only" movie;neither did my two sisters!
I had that SAME R2-D2 cake made for my birthday by my aunt when i was either six or seven! I've loved Star Wars since I can remember, and my husband loves the factthat we can quote lines together... And that I can sit and watch Star Trek marathons and actually know what's going on. I'm a gamer girl as well. I applaud Katie for being her. I know what it's like to "not" fit in. I was the ONLY kid (boys included) who had all the dino and insectabots in my 6th grade class.
Star Wars != Nerd
Star Trek = Nerd
Star Wars caters to the mainstream. It takes a nerd to become a Trekkie.
Is that why Star Trek: TNG had 20 million viewers (the same amount that watch Monday Night Football every week) at its peak, or is it the 11 movies and three other spin-offs?
While the staying power of the franchise has certainly waned, most certainly thanks to executive meddling, it's safely secured its place in television and film history as an entertaining series of space operas. With another Star Trek movie on the way in 2012, and all the advertising and mass-marketing frenzy to go with it, Star Trek is not set to disappear from the mainstream any time soon. There's even talks of two new shows.
TL, DR; Star Trek is most certainly in the mainstream
I was ridiculed and bullied for being a "Star Wars" fan too......back in 1977! Well, guess what... I started going to conventions, and met people who are still friends today. "Star Wars" changed my life from a lonely, bullied kid into a happy teen. I realized being a nerd was pretty cool, actually. The bullies? They turned out to be the REAL losers. My only regret is that the media STILL refers to bullying as "namecalling and teasing." I've never known it NOT to involve violence as well. Bullying is NOT harmless, and it shouldn't be tolerated.
Maybe with boys, but girl bullying is much more emotionally traumatic. Usually it's name calling, rumor spreading, and straight up shunning. It doesn't usually turn into a physical fight, though screaming matches are not unheard of.
Let's look at one point here – the girl is likely ADOPTED. She probably knows this. I don't know her past, but adopted kids (I have one myself) may come with a variety of issues. Excessivet easing/bullying doesn't help. The mom did as a mother should – defended her child when the child has done NOTHING wrong.
ALso, to the person that was ripping these two becuase there are "investment bankers"? Do you have personal knowledge that the couple was in fact responsible for many of the ills yo have accused them of?
Hopw is teasing ok?! Obviously the ones who are fine with the teasing we the one who did that and didn't receive all the abuse! How about this? I struggle EVERY day dealing with all the teasing I dealt with for 13 years of school!
Kudos to Katie! I am a girl who loves Star Wars too :-) That R2D2 cake is awesome!!!
To the previous poster, Michelle ..... I can't believe you think teasing someone for being fat or abormal is ok, in any respect. Fat, skinny, malformed, etc does not define anyone as a person, and to project negative energy at someone for not conforming to what you obviously think of as a standard of physical perfection only goes to show how shallow, self absorbed and narrow minded you are as a person. Unfortunately, those are qualities that cannot be changed, whereas the things you seem to think are acceptable to tease someone about are. Medical condition or no, most overweight people can reach a healthy weight with the proper regimen for their particular issue, and I suppose with enough money a deformity can be fixed. Your ignorance cannot. You will likely be given the chance to change your stance on the issue when your own child has a weight issue or abnormal deformity.
There will always be something like this going on in life, it's just the way it is. The best thing to do is to learn from it, find your strength, and love yourself. I am a stronger person today for the cruel things said to me when I was a child, by other children. When you grow up, and venture out into the real world, you discover that the toughening of your skin was entirely necessary. I don't condone teasing, but it serves its purpose, in a way.
It does NOT "serve a purpose" except to ABUSE. Do it to a spouse or child, and it's considered abuse. Shouldn't be tolerated child to child, either.
Chicks that love Star Wars!!!! More power to you all out there!
Screw em all.... Star Wars is dope!
Michelle you are an fat ugly b-– go kll yrself
sounds like bullying to me
The real problem with bullying in schools is not the kids but the teachers. Too many teachers support bullying as a way to enforce the social norm. Bullying is perfectly acceptable as long as it's the popular kids picking on the weirdos.They pick their favorites and those kids rule the roost, the rest of the kids are to fall in line or face the consequences. My brother has Aspergers that wasn't diagnosed until later in like. When he was picked on in school, teachers were quick to defend the bullies saying if my brother wasn't such a weirdo, the other kids wouldn't have to pick on him, as if it was the popular kids' job to make the weird kids conform.
I am sorry that you and your brother had such a horrible experience, but as a teacher myself I must say it is not fair to judge all teachers from your experience. I value the differences in my students; I encourage their individuality; and I work very hard to teach the moral value of "Treat others as you want to be treated". One of our class rules is to respect others and yourself. Bullying is not tolerated in my classroom nor at our school.
Another awesome thing, the link under "first shared the story" goes to Epbot, where I read first read about Katie. And today's Epbot post is about another young geek girl, 6 year old Bryden, and her love for Spock.
I love this story. And i loved it when i read it a year ago. For Katie, and everyone else who wants to be themselves and do something different or just be free, That is what life is all about. I love Star Wars myself and always have, so this story tugged on my heart. I used to get picked on when i was young too, id just shrug it off and stand for what i stood for. Today i am fighting for Everyones freedom In the US. Army. Always stand up for what you believe in!
Katie, just remember this. Be who you want to be. Be what your heart tells you are. Don't let other people try to make you be something you are not and don't try to live by other people's standards of what "you should be". You look like a Happy Kid. Stay that way. The only way to do that is staying true to yourself and true to what your heart tells you.
God Speed and "May the Force Be with You" ;-)
First and foremost kudos to Katie and everyone else that helped her and her school. Next, @Michelle, I WAS one of the "fat" kids in school and I was unmercifully bullied by my peers. Being a bully is NEVER ok in any situation. No I didn't have a medical problem and NO I didn't overeat. All bullying did was push me farther into my shell until I attempted suicide myself at the age of 10 (and many times thereafter) and you think it makes you stronger. You are ignorant and more than likely a bully yourself. It is sad to think that you are raising children to think like you. You are part of the problem.
Wow, I cannot believe how many of you COMPLETELY missed the point of the entire story. Of course, a lot of you post on different stories also that have NOTHING to do with the topic. Here's an idea, read the story, the comment ABOUT the story.. deal?
I think its awesome that so many people have commented on this particular story. I don't see this story as a girl getting bullied or picked on, I see it as a conglomeration of people who helped a school with supplies and other things. Who cares if the parents are rich or poor. Does it really matter? I'm sure the guidance counselors and other adults close to this child have already dealt with whatever issues might have arose from it. Now the story is about people, you and I, helping the next generation, like we should be doing all the time.
You know, this is suppose to be a heartwarming story – instead most of you have decided to leave ridiculous, mean comments that are completely uncalled for. I am a total Star Wars geekgirl. I was born in the 60's grew up in the 70's and to this day I love watching those movies. Most of these comments are nothing but verbal terrorism.
Katie – you go girl! Never ever give up what you love regardless of what people say.
Personally, I do much like the name, I do believe it’s type of neat. I think it’s a ltlite simpler to say. I think they are being very in keeping with a few i relate with them whenever the retail price preceding the name.But, as with everything else, everybody has their personal preferences. Each to his or her own, It's my job to say. What’s your choice?
what the heck is wrong with liking starwars gosh kids can be real stupid
Wow. Some of the commenters seem to have serious issues with the idea of a little girl finding out it is okay to be herself. Who cares how much her parents make? Rich kids, poor kids, white, black, brown, purple with pink polka dots ... It doesn't matter. A child was hurting. Strangers stepped up to assure her she was not alone and helped her discover more self-confidence. THAT was the story.
This is at the top of your news page... really?
I am SO SICK of hearing "this is news", or "this is at the top of your news page"!! IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ IT, READ SOMETHING ELSE!!!!!!!!
Isn't this young lady a little too young for Star Wars anyhow? She should start with a more age-appropriate sci-fi like Harry Potter, then move on in her teens to being a Star Trekkie, then on to Star Wars.
What are you on? Take a look at the ratings for the movies you are describing. If Star Wars wasn't appropriate for 8 year-olds, where did all the fans come from?
How is Star Wars not age appropriate for a young child? There are plenty more mature scenes in Harry Potter, especially book/movie 3 and up, that wouldn't be appropriate for people Katie's age, IMO, but I see nothing wrong with Star Wars in the same respect. Could you explain why you think so?
Harry Potter 1) is fantasy, not sci fi. 2) not all of it is necessarily more age appropriate for an 8 year old than Star Wars. The themes in the last couple of books are adult and mature. So I don't think the age/appropriate argument works well for Star Wars either.
that is the most idiotic thing i've ever heard.
The shoot-out scenes in the original "Star Wars" are just scenes straight out of old cowboy movies and TV shows with "blasters" instead of "shootin' irons", even some of the dialogue sounds like old cowboy "talk". I am a 1960s nerd girl, and we ALL played Cowboys and Bad Guys, right down to the three-year-old little brothers! The original "Star Trek" even had a "shootout at the OK Corral" episode. "Harry Potter" is darker than "Star Wars", and much more violent in my opinion, because the violence happens to kids.
Katie could have a "Star Wars" dorm room at college someday–it will look just like mine did in 1978!
You are aware that Star Wars has many formats that are age appropriate, such as the animated clone wars, the ewoks christmas, video games, novels, kids picture books, toys, theme park attractions, ect ? HP is a different genre . And in many ways much more "adult".
1. Star Wars, Star Trek and Harry Potter have universal appeal;
2. There's no reason you can't expose children to one or another at any age with guidance;
3. Stop posting.
Bullying is fine if someone is fat or abnormal in a way that is unhealthy or unsafe but a persons likes and dislikes are their own. Bullying can be good in pressuring someone to be healthier or keep their style in check with what makes society flow but it should never get violent. Bullying prepares you for life and makes you think about how you project yourself to others...it's not all bad. The 100% anti-bullying/everyone is special movement is the same that feeds the social networking addicts. Thinking that you are special and better than others is what CREATES bullies and selfishness. Learn to work with others, respect them and be polite...otherwise you get a punch in the nose (figuratively or physically).
Bullying is NEVER fine. Just because someone is overweight don't give you the right to bully them.
Can we bully Michelle for being so f-ing ignorant?
Michelle, bullying is never fine. Ever. Period. It's sad that many people like you are out there in our society raising kids to think like that.
Hi,I am 24 and my bully came from a place that is supposed to make me feel safe and surece He came from home, my uncle. I grew up with a single mother who was always at work. So the people I turned to for anything were my uncles and aunties I remember being made fun of for because I wasn't tough enough, or had many girlfriends or acting slightly feminine. My uncle never failed to call me out about it in front of guests at family parties. Almost everytime I was pushed to stay with my uncle, I would always get made fun of for one reason or another. Many of the male figures in my family expected me to be as tough as they but its not who I am. This affects me now because at work, I feel like I cannot develop a friendship with people because I feel I am not good enough. I feel as though I carry an that insecurity of being made fun of or losing the people I am currently friends with because they'd be embarassed to hang out with the guy that gets picked on. I am unsure of who to reach out to because I feel singled out in my family and no one can seem to relate.
Hi ThereMy Name is Kamal and I want to register my son Lovish Kalra for Video Game dengiser and Discovery Camp. His date of birth is Feb 12, 2000.Can you please give me a call at 604-807-6486.Thanks
So explain to us how teasing an overweight kid is going to make him skinny?
It doesn't. It just means that maybe that fat kid is the one in college who tries to kill themselves, despite the fact that the weight was due to a 10 year still-then-undiagnosed medical issue.
Thank god I had friends who very literally, stopped me from doing so (mostly by tackling and pinning me down), and then dragged me to a shrink. And still told me I was their friend.
Are you kidding me?! Bullying is never okay.
Don't be naive...Bullying is never okay.
Can we bully stupid people? I would love to knock you down a peg or two.
You are kidding, right?
Bullying is NEVER, EVER fine! To the bully, the child may be "overweight." To the child, fighting valiantly against some medical condition, it is nothing but ABUSE. None of us are "perfect" and other know of our flaws. However, they often don't know anything about why the flaws exist, and what we might be doing to try to work through them. Bullying is NEVER the answer! NEVER!
Bullying is never fine. Thanks to the other readers who spoke up.
@Michelle, what a sad, twisted little philosophy you operate under. I can't help but suspect this is self-justification for the way you treat others, as no well-adjusted person could ever consider bullying a just or fruitful tactic. But then, I also realize that as a bully you are probably quite miserable yourself, and just turning your self-loathing outward. I'd suggest you stop taking the coward's way out and talk to a professional, instead of inflicting your conceit and anger on the people around you.
So, Michelle, how much do you hate fat people? You're fine with bullying overweight kids, or those who aren't pretty enough, or smart enough, or just somehow fail to goose-step in sync with "mainstream" but you draw the line when it's for liking Star Wars. Interesting philosophy... I'm guessing you've bullied a lot of fat people all your life and feel pretty smug about it.
I think you've got bullying and peer pressure mixed up here. Bullying is hurtful, painful and mean spirited. A bully is someone who finds someone smaller or weaker than them to push around for no good purpose at all. Peer pressure is what can keep people healthier and out of bad situations. Never bullying.
Shut up now before you make yourself seem even stupider than you already have.
"Bullying" is too subjective and case-by-case to summarily say it's good or bad or to even say what "it" is. Telling a fat person they are fat and they need to exercise and fix their diet is bullying to some...it's a life saver to others. How that's told depends on diction by the sayer and interpretation by the listener. Regardless, they're just words. PHYSICAL bullying isn't "bullying" – it's "assault/battery" and is a criminal/civil offense punishable by law. Personally, I like this generation of softies, because it makes it a lot easier for my kids, who know how to benefit from constructive criticism and ignore what people call "bullying", to rise to the top.
Here's a litmus test: do you thnk American-Idol's Simon is a bully?
"Learn to work with others, respect them and be polite...otherwise you get a punch in the nose"
By your logic your whole face is going to be a bloody mess.
It's great that this little girl is no longer being teased for being a Star Wars fan. Very cute and heartwarming. BUT IT IS NOT GREAT THAT A LITTLE BOY IS BEING TOLD IT'S OK TO PAINT HIS NAILS LIKE A GIRL.
So stop painting your nails man !
Agreed...there's a situation where bullying is a good thing...having your own style or personality is great...going outside normality SHOULD get you called-out.
That's an appalling thing to say—disturbing. Normal is just a construct. An illusion. If you're not hurting anyone, you should be able to do whatever you please. Who's it hurting if a child expresses himself?
Who the Hell are you to decide what is "normal"? How is a kid painting his nails hurting you?
A boy who wants to paints his nails is expressing his own style and personality and that's perfectly normal. No need to call him out.
There is no such thing as normal. Everyone is weird, crazy, and/or abnormal in their own way and you have no right to say that others are going "outside normality". I'm sure you are "outside normality" in your own way. You sound like one of those teenage girls who goes around calling people "gay" and generally dissing everyone who doesn't fit in with your own ideals. I know little boys who love painting their nails, and girls who refuse to wear skirts if it would save their lives. The only people who have problems with that are the ones who think they live in the 1800s. I am ashamed to share a name with you.
He's a kid playing with other kids. Who cares?
Carney, talk about missing the point. Go back to your cave.
So, it's okay for girls to like "boy things" but not okay for boys to like "girll things"? Lots of guys wear clear polish & don't even get me started on the punck or rock scene. They love their crazy make-up & black nail polish! Let kids be who they are & explore what they like & want. That type of freedom creates better adults :o)
Exactly. I don't understand why some schools let girls wear make up, have long hair & pierced ears – but prohibit boys from doing the same. Talk about a double standard...
Why? Are girls somehow lesser than boys? Besides, sounds to me like he's painting his nails like a boy, because he is a boy. Good for him. Nail polish is cool. Expressing yourself is cool.
this is the age when children learn what behavior distinguishes gender in OUR culture; could be different in other cultures, for example, in China friends may hold hands in public. Life is less stressful when you know the rules. And that's all it is, rules. When you get older you can choose what ones you want to follow and which ones you don't. When I was in school any guy who wore earrings was a weirdo; now it's acceptable. Try to see that painting your nails is not an indication there is anything "wrong". Look at Angelina Jolie's daughter; she wears her brother's clothes and acts like a boy. And they allow that, trusting she will figure it out in the end, for her.
I had my nails painted several times when I was these kids age. I turned out just fine. Im not gay either. Not that their is anything wrong with being gay.
I was in the audience of the GeekGirlCon seminar when the Stormtrooper honor guard silently formed in the back of the room where Carrie and Katie were speaking. The looks of surprise on the faces of Carrie and Katie was one of the most amazing sights for everyone in that room. The men and women in the **custom-made** uniforms were incredible performing such a kind gesture for a mother and daughter.
Some individuals posting on this board need to spend time searching the Internet. There have been several suicides of children as young as ** eight** years of age in recent years performing suicide because of teasing and bullying.
Carl Walker-Hoover. Ashlynn Conner. Jaheem Herrera. Samantha West. Tori Blair Wilson. Jasmine McClain. A few of many young souls now gone whose full potential will never be known.
TY for posting, and including their names. : ( They deserve to be remembered.
What a stupid story.
You suck....then why read it and reply
Don't read it, don't comment, move on loser!
Jealousy is not every becoming.
When will people realize that it's just a movie? It shouldn't be a lifestyle, it's a MOVIE.
I know you wear that Princess Leah bikini to the club Saturday nights brah
There is a difference between a lifestyle and finding an inspiration.. and even if it is a lifestyle for some, is it any different than people who live and breathe for their local sports teams? Is it necessarily worse?
... it's actually 6 movies dum azz lol
Median income for Evanston Ill: $135k per year
Average home price: $335k
Hmmm....Is your town doing that well? Seems like Katie's investment banker parents are the real bullies here.
Hardly the salary of an investment banker Rob. Unless they are just terrible bankers...you tell me, you wrote it.
What an ignorant comment, obviously you don't have children.
The average home price is over 300K..?!?!?!
Wow..... That's amazing.
Come to San Francisco, 300K gets you a parking spot...
Average intelligence of wherever Rob lives: 126. Rob's intelligence: 30. What does the parents income have to do with this great story? I could care less what the average home price is in Evanston, IL. I don't care if they are investment bankers.
Katie's dad is a high school teacher and her mom is a writer/artist who was once a banker. Also, totally irrelevant to the story.
It is funny. The banker class (Katie's mom) got rich of off outsourcing the jobs and cutting the benefits of Katie's real parents....so Katie's biological parents have to give her up for adoption or starve. Then katie's adopted parents act like they are saints.
Give it a BREAK!!!!!!
That's a pretty stupid comment. Jealous much? Guess you didn't have the determination to do anything with your life except complain how someone else was screwing you over. A person like you is easy to spot
1) difficult to get along with 2) always broke 3) never taking responsibility for their own actions. If you can't look at your own reflection and correct your own issues then you shouldn't try pointing the finger elsewhere. It just makes you look like an idiot.
Kudos to Katie and being herself and kudos to my fellow geeks of the world for 'striking back'. :-P
We share 2 things, our name, I am Katie too, and a love of Star Wars. I was a just a kid when the first Star Wars movie came out in the 70s and I went to see it 20 times with my sister and my best friend Connie!!!!! I had Han Solo and Luke Skywalker posters all over my room ~ No one can tell me Star Wars is just for BOYS!!!!!! Yeah for you Katie!! keep being true to yourself ~ may the force be with you!!
I would totally do her.
What are you, 10? Grow up.
only after she finishes polishing my light saber first.
I disposed of my lifelong bully.
Am writing this from prison.
Re: Feds, Federal, National. I see the point, but I don't think we have a National government, ehteir. It's more like a coalition of petty fiefdoms which co-operate only in order to pillage the serfs in a orderly fashion.Re: Cigarettes. Of course, and don't forget allowing them to play games where a score is kept, or there is the slightest possibility of injury.
You know, the girls parents are both wealthy and work for investment banks in chicago. They got MBAs from Kellogg School of Business. It isnt like this girls life was going to be ruined by this bullying. She will always have access to, via her parents, the best healthcare, high schools, colleges, and a big inheritance.
Do you and your children have that luxury? You work hard, why has your total compensation been dropping over the past 20+ years? The richest of our society have not hired us no paid us properly for our labor. Time to join the rebellion, I guess.
so because her parents are wealthy then it's ok to bully her? .. or some how it makes it less wrong that she was bullied? and yes bullying can ruin a persons life, it can even end it. wake up and realize that bullying is wrong.
You have every opportunity to become rich and hire people yourself. Standing around blaming someone else for your inaction solves nothing and makes you look like a fool. Since you aren't going out and actively trying to become wealthy and hire people, it means you are proliferating this issue instead of actually doing anything about (except whining)
Um, I am in the military and my kids have good healthcare and dental. We are far from rich and if my kids are every bullied we will stand up for them. Wealth has nothing to do with being bullied. You and your kind who are nothing but cry babies because you want to be wealthy (or should I say greedy) but can't because you went to college (or maybe not) and got a degree in English instead of something worthwhile that makes money, is your own fault. My uncle has money but he saved all his life and was able to afford a $300K house built from the ground up because he worked all his life and was wise with his money.
Her dad is a high school teacher and her mom is a writer/artist who worked for a bank years ago. Not that it should matter if she is being bullied.
This was all William Shatner's fault.
If he had just kept that oversize trap of his shut this poor girl would never have been bullied.
We are going to raise a society of spoiled little brats who can’t take any criticism. I myself was on the receiving end of being picked on in school, I was a nerd type who liked Dr. Who so you can imagine how that went over, But we called it “learning to be strong and deal with it” I found that as an adult my bully actually became a lesson in life for me. It taught me to take the crap that life dishes out. Therefore it made me a stronger person. So no one will agree but I think your childhood bullies are good for you, Makes you a stronger person.
That was an incredibly idiotic statement
What is worse than bullies is the idiots who apologize for their bullies, thinking they are "good" for them, that they somehow help build character. Well, they are NOT and they DON'T. You're in denial.
people are nasty. just because stars wars makes this girl feel good, they can't stand seeing anyone happy.
What a sad point of view. There will be enough challenges in young peoples lives to help build character and teach them how to overcome obstacles. Why would anyone be against a supportive environment where children feel safe to express themselves?
I was bullied for 3 years sghritat. It started in 6th grade and finally ended in 8th grade. I thought I was fine even though I was depressed and mad the whole time. Almost every night I cry myself to sleep remembering everything. I'm a 9th grader now and it doesn't seem to get easier or for the pain to go away. I don't knnow how to get rid of the emotional pain that they caused me. I need to know how to get rid of the pain.
Last time I checked, harrassment is actually illegal, as is uttering threats. Such behavior is not accepted in most workplaces. So, if it's not okay for adults to do such stuff to one another, why do you think it's okay for kids – who are much less well equipped than adults to deal with such stuff? Sorry, but what you said is just plain wrong on so very many levels.
That's because, by the time you're an adult, you have a better sense as to what's socially acceptable, and there's always termination if you greatly exceed those boundaries. Kids can't get fired from school.
Tomb, apparently you didn't finish that therapy stint.
In other words you're admitting that you learned no lesson at all. Because in any situation even remotely related to this article is "crap that life dishes out you DO NOT have to take."
Get a freaking life – loser! You never had a family member/someone back you up on something you believed in? Go dig a ditch and live in it!
Tomb, you know nothing. Bullying may make some stronger. Just as often it delivers lifelong scars to kids who did nothing to deserve the treatment. If you've paid attention, you'd see that sometimes it leads to suicide, or school shootings. Do kids really need to kill themselves because of relentless bullying?
Hopefully someday you re-examine your stance on bullying. Research on bullying does not in any way support that it makes children "stronger" or that it is in any way beneficial. That is an ignorant point of view that I hope we evolve beyond at some point in the future. What research does show it that it leads to psychological scarring, depression, and a string of other issues. Yes, kids deal with bullying, and yes, some become successful, but to attribute that success to bullying is faulty cause and effect.
What a sad, sad point of view you have. To see a story like this, and have the response that you had, I can only feel sorry for you and the person you have become. This is a great story about just how much great there is still in mankind. Great story, terrible post.
It depends on the extent and nature of whatever acts you consider bullying and a lot of other factors, including the psychological makeup of the kids on the receiving end. I moved around a lot as a kid, so I was constantly the "new kid" in some tough, working class schools, full of idiots who wanted to prove where I was on the totem pole. I also didn't care to fit in, and was less immature than other kids in my grade. Six on one or even in one case (in fifth grade) nine on one fights weren't that uncommon. Lord of the Flies is on the mark – kids in a pack mentality can be nasty little things.
In my case, I got physically big and strong, and the BS stopped by high school, but only after I put a stop to it. I ended up spending 22 years in the Army as a paratrooper, went into a civilian career and eventually my own business and have done well in life, but I saw a lot of so-called "misfit" kids growing up who didn't and couldn't handle it as well.
Bullying is completely and absolutely unnecessary. Being "able to take criticism" has nothing to do with accepting bullying as normal.
I think I get what you are trying to say. I agree that learning to deal with criticism is an important skill to learn, and kids will establish a pecking order, but examples such as this show it can go too far. Abusive behavior is unacceptable
Bullying doesn't "build character", it's humiliating and demoralizing. The people who are bullies or were abused by bullies tend to say things like this to justify their abuse, either at the giving or receiving end.
Bullying is much more severe today than it was in the past. The world was quite different when Dr. Who was on TV and you need to understand that today's kids are going through harsher experiences at earlier ages than ever before.
Don't excuse the behavior of jerks.
Your an idiot.
Your a Bully!
Stop disagreeing wit me! You’re all being so mean; my feelings have been so hurt. I believe I’m scared for life! I’m thinking all of you that responded so harshly to me should be considered bullies, I think I need to start a campaign to stop CNN article response bullying… LOL
I see you missed your next medication dose. Please take one immediately.
This comment is a bit silly I agree with a lot of the others. But this little girl Katie could have been picked on about a lot worse things. It was just Star Wars. LMAO. It's so ridiculous. And to have a whole day after her? Please...there are worst things going on out there!
All of you dissing tomb's post: What do you think WE had to deal with back in the 70's before all of the anti-bullying programs came about? We HAD to either somehow rise above it, or let it destroy us. My bully killed himself as a sad, pathetic adult, but not before inflicting serious harm to a friend of mine who had to have brain surgery as a result. Back then, the police treated it as "boys will be boys" and "accidents happen". Some of you haven't a clue.
Your response doesn't make their bullying okay, and being nurtured and respected doesn't make her weak. Quit trying to rationalize unacceptable behavior.
I beat the hell out of evey bully that tested me. I'm stronger for THAT. Being a pacifist in those situations does nothing but increase the bullying. Standing up and taking care of business at the source is what needs to be done.
I was bullied too...and tried to kill myself twice because of it. Obviously, I wasn't as "strong" as you. Thank God, I had a loving family, friends & teachers that helped me...some kids aren't so lucky...
And this story... cute as it is... is more important to CNN than the death of Christopher Hitchens.. which is nowhere in the top stories of the day?
You obviously weren't on the site earlier today.
You're right: Hitchen's death is WAY MORE IMPORTANT!!!...then some kid and her adoptive rich-ass parents.
Sitting around complaining that someone else is rich will never make you rich. One more thing, whatever you do for a living, you make too much money doing it and shouldn't be allowed to make as much as you do...
There are hundreds of stories on this site. You obviously don't spend anytime checking the rotation.
"Duh-hur! I went to CNN one time today and they didn't have a story I thought was newsworthy! Duh-hur!"
ah, you know, this is really awesome and all – but when the president is threatening to sign into law indefinite detention, and our headline news is an (albeit awesome) little girl's struggle with teasing – we've got severe priority issues, and obviously a media blackout.
Not saying what you are bringing up isn't important – but there's more to life. If you just focus on the bad stuff all the time, it skews your perspective, so lighten up.
Don't be an idiot. This is supposed to be NEWS SITE. And fluffy rubbish like this has no place as the banner story at ANY time of day. This is why America is becoming a nation of morons.
I wouldn't vote conspiracy... People are hammered by so much negativity on the news - so much about horrible crimes and "OMG DOING THIS WILL KILL YOU" that fluff like this becomes a retreat. Especially since we've heard for the past 50+ years that "Democracy is Dead".
Plastering "Mission Accomplished" all over an aircraft carrier in 2003 wasn't misinformation?
Katie looks awesome *shrug* Fight the good fight.
what is teasing to some kids is much worse to others. Sometimes it is very fine line. For a shy introverted kid what is teasing to an outgoing extrovert is bullying.
It's nice to see that people still step in and do the right thing.You all changed that little girls life forever.And in ways that
will probably amaze all of us in the years to come. Good on all of you. and have a Great Holiday, whatever you celebrate..
Geeks everywhere showing thier true and noble colors! Welcome to the club Katie, you are a most welcome and treasured addition! I even heard Yoda say, "Strong with this one the force is!" Stay true to yourself kiddo and you'll never be wrong.
who is this on cnn?
Not a Star Wars fan here, but definitely a geek. I'm a geek of the D&D variety... lol I've written many campaigns, created my own table top RPG, and have even written a few CRPGs. I played Final Fantasy (the first one) before most people had ever heard of it (and back when only the extreme nerdy-nerds played RPGs). I got teased a lot in school myself, but I never gave up my geekiness. I'm proud of it today!! :)
...oh and in case any other RPG geeks are wondering, Final Fantasy wasn't my first RPG... It was actually a game called "Legacy of the Ancients" for the Commodore 64.
"The swamp squishes between your toes..." Yeah... that one! ;)
LOL – I played that one too! Great game on a great system. I too started in D&D and have played every version. Pen and paper everytime...only way to play!
Great story, way to stand your ground Katie!
People don't like Star Wars anymore? How is that possible?
"YOU MAY DISPENSE WITH THE PLEASANTRIES COMMANDER, I'm here to put you back on schedule."
But the Emperor asks the impossible. I need more men!!
Katie is as cute as ever!
Another heartwarming Jewish story.
What do you mean by a "Jewish story"? This is about a child, about bullying. Keep your anti-semitism out of the comments. It shouldn't even be in your nature.
Agreed. The only people who see *race* are adults and the children who are conditioned by those adults. Shame.
Do the world a favor and go slit your wrists.
It's a great learning experience for the little girl, people aren't always going to be nice, but why give them power over you to make yourself feel bad about it? She took the setback and turned it into a positive, and that's what makes people successful in life, is how they go about when things go bad.
that poor Stormtrooper looks like he spilled a bowl of tomato soup down his front or something
That's because he's BEEN THERE, man. He was there when it went down. If you haven't been there, you can't know.
He is a sandtrooper. It is a 501st costume as a Tattoine trooper from ANH, dirty and weathered from being in the desert
Great human interest story that brought a smile to my face. I too am a STAR WARS fan. I know several adults who are STAR WARS fanatics. Katie, use the force.
Way to go Katie . Take no nonsense over being a fan of Star Wars . That series for all of us . As for bullies who say not . Sorry . May the Force be with you
My 5 year old LOVES Star Wars – Nothing wrong with that! I did too! Katie – my daughter would join your club in a hearbeat. We use the opportunity to teach her about good vs. evil and those crappy bullies that are on the "dark side"
Geeks are the only one's that go on to make something of themselves. Steve Jobs geek Bill Gates geek to name just 2. An they tend to help people like in this video.
Rob that is two people...you clearly weren't a geek by your standards.
Yes, it's ok to be unique. Until you wear Neo-Nazi regalia to school and then it's not okay anymore. : (
Thats not unique, thats idiotic.
This is national news how???
You are a human how?
You don't know Jack, Jack.
... so, please, just go away..
Bullies grow up to be republicans.
Yea, I can tell that's a well thought out and researched comment... Idiot
You have the nerve to call someone and idiot when you questioned if this same article is national news. Who's the idiot now moron.
Hating on people again? Such a shame you like to spread hate.
Not trying to be rude here, but ugh, don't Republican's pride themselves on being bullies? The "tuff" "macho" " no non-since" national defense, throw people out of the country, make laws to make people act how you want them be and believe. Enforce your will on how the world "should be"? Carry guns to boost your ego, and discriminate against people not like youself? That sure sounds like a bully to me. I'm not replying to the dude here. it's to the responders.
That Republicans were the party of Lincoln?
Did you know that the Republican Party was the Democratic party until President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat, gave all peoples the right to vote? When Johnson signed that bill into effect the dixicrat was gone forever, or as he put it. "I just gave the raciest south to the Republican Party for the next 60 years." That's fact, just like Lincolin being a Republican, only it wasn't the same party then. Republican's used to be about freedom for all people. Not anti-government BS.
I do believe those storm troopers are the ones from the desert scenes. So the filth is accurate. Haha
Teasing can sometimes hurt, but bullying is much more aggressive. When you are picked on day in and day out. I'm glad things turned around for this little girl. I wish I had a supportive parent on my side of the ring back in the day.
Could they have found a DIRTIER storm trooper? Dude looks like he ate bolognese for 2 hours and puked it back up.
It's a Sand trooper- bad paint job but B for effort.
Are "Sand Troopers" known to eat a lot of pasta and not keep it down?
it makes me happy to see this turned into something positive for the entire school =)
Looks like the Empire has fallen on some hard times. That stormtroopers uniform is absolutely filthy!
Nachos and Storm Trooper garb don't mix.
"He works hard for the money...so hard for it honey...he works hard for the money...so you better treat him right!"
Katie, as a father of two girls, and a fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Doctor Who, and many other things "geeky" let me tell you, in the words of Sheryl Crow, "If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad..."
I'm sorry you had a hard time, but sticking up for the things we believe in is what makes the difference between those who lead, and those who follow, and everyone know a true Jedi leads by example - like you did!
May the force be with you!
You should be teased for quoting Sheryl Crow!
Well said! I am a gal who grew up with Star Wars and Star Trek. I love both. I love the classic Doctor Who. (I don't have tv so haven't seen the other shows you mention) When I saw this headline I was surprised. I never thought of Star Wars as a "boy thing". It was the first movie in which I was exposed to a strong female character.
Katie I was a shy girl when I was your age too and I am glad you are standing up for yourself. That was something I never did. You sport your Star Wars gear with pride and NEVER be afraid to be who you are!! It took me until my 20s to begin realizing this, and that is far too late!
odd this story on this site.. this is just the type of hatred this site promotes.. maybe they have seen the light,.....if the blues brothers can so can this site...
What are you even talking about? Hatred? What? What planet do you live on that you get "promotes hatred" out of this article?
What kind of D-bag doesn't like Star Wars????
Trekies, thats who!
Long live the Trekkies!
"Teasing" becomes bullying real fast when enough people join in. The target/victim can't go one day without constant bombardment, which, when you're a kid and don't know how to handle it, becomes emotional trauma that can stay with you forever. Those who think it's trivial – you either didn't have a harsh experience, or, you WERE the bully. STFU and don't you dare try to minimize what the targets of this stuff are going through – ESPECIALLY in this new digital age. You have no idea.
"she defended a boy at a birthday party who said he wanted his nails painted like the girls there"
Now that's just a little too out of control...
No it's not. It's a party, for fun. There is a difference between parties and normal social situations. If he wanted to wear it to school then that might be a different story.
Why? I use to wear nail polish to high school back in the '80. Pink even! Didn't hurt or affect my life in any way.
I was being facetious. And I totally agree with you...
Sarcasm doesn't translate via text. That's why I use /s
That is a little weird, but it doesn't really mean that kid should have a miserable life. I think it's sweet that she would stand up for a peer.
I don't care if he even wanted to wear a dress.
America, land of the free (as long as you don't do anything eccentric.)
Life, Liberty (as long as you conform to social norms), and the pursuit of happiness (and are not a wierdo)
I was kidding...see comment above. See you could have benefited from a healthy dose of teasing too.
"No it's not. It's a party, for fun. There is a difference between parties and normal social situations. If he wanted to wear it to school then that might be a different story."
Really? Because you'll have to explain to me how a boy with painted nails affects anyone else but himself, hurts anyone, or changes your life or that of his peers?
Thanks for showing us which group you'd fall into – those who will put down others because of what they choose to do... when it hurts no one.
I have the heart of a judgmental bully. I keep it in a jar on my desk.
love it :)
In formaldehyde, I hope o_O
It isn't teasing when you are alone and twenty people are joining in against you. Often, it is the bully who thinks they were teasing someone and looks back on school as a great time, while the kid who was picked on has painful memories. Words can cut deep, and are remembered by children long after they are said. Harrassment always starts with a word, and then gains ground quickly.
That's JUST what it is, teasing. Bullying is something completely and totally different
Spoken like a true bully. "I was just teasing."
Have we really, honestly dumbed down so much as a society where teasing is considered bullying? So they teased her about being a girl and liking Star Wars. That's not bullying. Teasing is something everyone needs to learn how to handle, it is not bullying where you are helpless to stop it in many cases.
I really do like the response, though. This is a great story and it looks like it started some great things like toy giveaways and such. I love these kinds of stories!
I agree completely. I was bullied in school, and this ain't it. I was a little girl who loved Star Wars and it didn't bother me one bit that I didn't dress or like the things that other girls did. On the other hand, people would physically intimidate and bully me for other reasons and THAT was scary. This is cute and all, but let's not get crazy with the bully label.
100% agree. The term bullying has been taken to an extreme. Teasing and bullying are no where near the same thing. Love the response, love the story but to me this kind of insulting to anyone who was actually the victim of bullying and has the physical scars to prove it.
Anyway, glad to hear something was changed for the good and it seems that kids and adults learned from this.
Absolutely correct! Teasing and bullying are two different. Teasing helps build thicker skin, making you tougher in later life.
Half the crap they call "bullying" today is just nothing more than teasing, and there's NOTHING wrong with that.
She was teased because she liked SW. That's not the best thing to do, but you know what, so what? It's not like she was bullied by any means
, I think you are also correct in that pnearts should be teaching their children how to deal with bullying. Children should be encouraged to respond (in a non-retaliatory) and learn not to be a victim. I still don't know how I feel about your stance on responding to physical violence. I guess that's because I always shy away from violence as ever being a good thing, but I can understand your logic on it, especially in regards to the male approach to bullying.
I wonder how many of you agreeing with this person were bullies; trying to cover up your own shame by downplaying a victim's experience. You're all like the guy who argue that Sandusky is probably innocent of the molestation charges and was just "horse playing" with those children. Yeah, right. Bullies come out of your closets.
I was wondering the same thing. Are these people for real or are they just trying to be funny, because I am not laughing. Teasing and bullying are a cycle. Kids who bully and tease others are far more likely to justify teasing and bullying as adults.
I was heavily bullied, and I STILL agree that there is a world of difference between being teased and being outright "bullied".
We're straying from requiring "Tolerance" to demanding "Acceptance", and that's going too far. While I applaud the girl for finding an avenue to social acceptance, nobody would be better off if the teasing had been stifled beforehand.
I agree that the story may not illustrate extreme bullying, though it isn't described how bad the teasing might be (and intense repeated teasing CAN be a very harmful form of bullying).
But this story is not about a crisis in bullying. It is about the support that a mother got when she talked about her daughter's trials and tribulations at school. Teasing IS hurtful, so it is nice. And it is worth teaching kids to think about what they say. But the story is really about the outporing of support and the effects, not the "terrible" bullying she faced.
Take it as a story about positive changes, not a story about how awful the world was to an unfortunate kid.
What a beautiful and sweet young girl. It is terrible to be teased as a child, but what an incredible way to take a positive spin! Good for her! And what a fantastic mom to stay by her! I hope this whole experience makes her an even stronger, and more confident, adult.
Whats with all the neo-nazis on this site?
Oh, HE had no choice but to shoot himself in the head.....putting his IGNORANT BRAIN out of its misery for being overwhelmed with anti-semitic thoughts....You may want to LEARN something from that!
What an incredibly horrible comment! Were you always this sick and twisted, or did you have to practice at it?
BTW, I am interpreting your comment (especially in light of other posts here), to mean the following: her family name is typically jewish, and her mom looks jewish, so they must be jewish... and because you want Hitler, you are hoping the family is exterminated. If your invocation of Hitler's name meant something else entirely, I apologize for misinterpreting you.
Apparently the original comment (calling for the return of Hitler) has been removed from the site (both tekstep1 and Hurtful Truth replied to it, also).
It takes one to know one. When it comes to topics of interest to nerds, geeks, and superfans, we know how true that is. Geek Out! features stories from a nerd's perspective that you can still share with your "normal" friends and family.