The Yankees were moved by Slater’s Facebook repost of a video by Cassidy that quickly became viewed over 250,000 times and landed her daughter on national TV. Cassidy had originally posted on Facebook, but her account was suspended; she likely was reported for being below the age requirement (13), her father said.
“My name is Cassidy,” the little girl said in notes she held up, a la the “Love Actually” scene, in the video her mother shared April 4. “I am 10 years old. I go to John Adams Elementary School. I am in 4th grade. I started getting bullied in 1st grade. One day during Recess A group of kids grabbed my purse off of a teacher, and spit on it.. and me.. 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, spit on me… Kids don’t even want to go near me. Whenever I sit at a lunch table, the kids get up. They threaten to kill me, and they tell me to kill myself. They also spilt [sic] milk all over my jacket. They also call me names. There’s 4 of them and only 1 of me. The principal doesn’t do anything. I feel so alone, I feel like I have no one. It hurts. This is my story… Stop Bullying! Not just for me for other kids too. Please share my story!”
Enter the Yankees, who wrote in a tweet, “we want you to know that you are not alone. We have your back!” It kicks off with pitcher CC Sabathia and includes Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Manager Aaron Boone.
“Dear Cassidy. My name is C.C. Sabathia and I play baseball for the New York Yankees,” their video begins. “My teammates and I wanted you to know that we care about you.”
His teammates added, “We know sharing your story must have been difficult but you showed courage and strength and inspired us to reach out to you. We may be older than you, we may be taller than you, but we want you to know that we look up to you. You are not alone! Count the New York Yankees among your friends! You can sit next to us at lunch anytime!!! In fact, we are saving a seat for you at our lunch table in the clubhouse. Bullying is WRONG. We won’t stand for it! No one should ever be made to fell [sic] bad about who they are. We need to care for each other. There are 25 of us on this team! And we all got your back!!!!”
Cassidy’s post moved others, such as actor Hugh Jackman, who shared ABC News’ version of it on his verified Facebook account last week.
“Hi Cassidy …. I’m Hugh,” Jackman wrote. “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.”
The fourth grader lives with her father, James Warner, and two older sisters in Scranton, Pa., and he told ABC News that he first saw the video after his daughter posted the original footage on her Facebook page. “It just devastated me,” he said. “I don’t know how to explain how it made me feel…even talking about it I get choked up.”
He told the Scranton Times-Tribune that “a million things went through my head. The first thing was, I was failing [in] my job as a parent.”
Warner told the Times-Tribune in a story published April 5 that he had met with school administrators. Cassidy’s lunch period and recess were changed and she was given the chance to switch to a different class, but she declined. Her father added that they might reconsider if the bullying continued. Superintendent Alexis Kirijan acknowledged to the paper that she is aware of the situation at John Adams. “The principal [Mario Emiliani] has taken this very seriously,” she said. “He’s conducted an investigation, looked into everything and talked to the parents.”
“They changed my recess so I’m not in recess with the kids but I’m still in class with them. The bullying is still going on, but it’s just now in class,” she said. “If the teacher calls on me and I say a wrong answer, they scream that I’m dumb and stuff like that. The teacher just ignores it. She acts like she doesn’t hear it, but I know she does.”
Still, her mother wrote last week that the whirlwind created by the video had changed her daughter. “What a crazy eventful few days, I just want to take the time to thank everyone, friends and family and anyone and everyone who reached out to us, on behalf of Cassidy we thank you all for the love and support and all the overwhelming comments and kind words. Everyone has helped put a smile on her face and gave her so much confidence shes so full of life, thank you all!!!”