This story is absolutely horrific! I just cried for this young girl. The only good news at the moment is that the bully who is 15 years old is being charged and treated like an adult. We have a very serious problem in our society that must be corrected immediately. It is unacceptable that here in America a teenager is being bullied every 7 minutes. We all must treat each other with respect and not ridicule. We must not put our head in the sand. Get involved. Bullying is not limited to teenagers. It is happening on our streets and in our work environments. It is time to stand up to bullying and embrace civility. We must be the change we wish to see in the world. We all must look at our own behavior and change. Do you call someone stupid? Stop. That is the beginning of bullying. My heart and prayers are with Josie Ratley and her community. - Kathy Horn
Published : Monday, 06 Jun 2011
FOX 5 Reporter
BY AUDREY BARNES/myfoxdc
WASHINGTON - Every seven minutes a teenager is bullied. It's a problem that seems to be getting worse instead of better.
An organization that's trying to reverse the trend launched a national campaign against bullying in Washington DC Sunday.
Josie Ratley, the survivor of a brutal bullying incident in Florida was here to focus attention on the problem. It's been 14 months since police say 15 year old Wayne Treacy put on steel toed boots, rode his bike to his local middle school in Florida, and nearly stomped 15 year old Ratley to death.
"I really believe that prayers are the reason my daughter is here now,"Hilda Gotay says.
Gotay can still barely speak about the attack her daughter Josie endured in March of 2010. She's still recovering from the massive brain injuries she suffered after being stomped and kicked in the head.
Sources say Treacy told police he was angry over text messages Ratley sent him telling him to stay away from her 13 year old friend.
After three surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy, Ratley still has a long way to go. She's relearning how to talk and do every day things, but even second grade school work is tough for her now .
Her mom wants people to keep praying for her.
"I don't want them to stop because she's having a lot of problems with her brain and her memory. We just don't know how far she'll be able to learn," Gotay says.
Helping victims like Josie is the mission for the group NVEEE, which started this anti bullying campaign. NVEEE stands for National Voices for Equality, Education, and Enlightenment.
"We provide resources for families, parents, teachers, and students when something like this happesn, but what we really want to do is prevent them from happening,"NVEEE President Jowharah Sanders says.
Gotay has a message for parents which she hopes will prevent some future bullying--make time for your kids.
"I understand there's parents out there with two jobs, whatever, but give that hug or a kiss so that even if he's upset about something when they go to school, they won't take it out on another kid,"Gotay says.
Wayne Treacy has been charged as an adult and is now facing first degree attempted murder charges in connection with Josie's attack.
If you would like more information about NVEEE's anti-bullying efforts, you can find it on their website, http://nveee.org/.