NewsNation | November 24, 2010
>>> is strong with a 7-year-old " star wars " fan named katie . she was bullied by her classmates in chicago after bringing a " star wars " water bottle to class that matched her backpack. katie 's mom took to the blogospheblo blogosphere to tell her daughter's story. she found thousands of supporters on the internet. i'm joined now my katie 's mom, carrie . thanks for joining me.
>> thanks for having me.
>> absolutely. you would think that " star wars " would be something that's pretty cool with 1st graders. what happened to your daughter?
>> well, i think what has happened actually is that the boys of the country have been given the message so often that " star wars " is for boys because they walk into a walmart or, you know, a toy store and they see the "star warwars" toys in the boys' section. katie told me they were following her around at lunch and recess saying " star wars " is for boys, not for girls. it got to the point where she came home in tears and didn't want to bring her " star wars " paraphernalia to school anymore.
>> did you contact the school? we know how serious bullying is. it's escalated to the point where kids have taken their own lives because of the pressure. did you contact the school?
>> i did. exactly that. what happened is that this was a very timely incident because it happened right before anti-bully week at her school. i wrote this article, and i sent it to the president of the pta and i sent it to her principal. long before the article went viral, her school was phenomenal with their reaction. and they actually -- they sent it around to panchtrents. her school was on top of it. conversations began, which is exactly what i wanted to happen out of this.
>> you mentioned the article, which was you went to the internet to blog about what happened to katie . you asked other people to really join you and let katie know that " star wars " can be loved by everyone, right?
>> it's so funny because the main message of my blog, i write a blog called portrait of an adoption on chicagonow. and the main message of this particular article was teasing, if not intervened with early, climbs that slippery slope to bullying later. here we have little 1st graders doing teasing. let's step in now and prevent them from turning into bullies later. i said, if there are any female " star wars " fans out there, can you let katie know? there were thousands and thousands and thousands of jedis standing on my doorstep.
>> and what were they saying, carrie ?
>> well, that's the best part of all. they have said to katie , it's okay to be different, it's okay to like " star wars " or any science fiction , it's okay to wear glasses, it's okay to be adopted. all of these things pertain to katie . so the messages were big messages of support for her to be her own unique self. i love that.
>> did she respond to all of those folks coming to her side to stand strong with her, her force, if you will, that's with her now?
>> yes. the best thing has been seeing her big toothless smile. we got a personal message from obi wan kinobi that was made for her. we got messages from the voice talent on "the clone wars ." that's been pretty phenomenal for katie .
>> congratulations on taking it to the next level. i'm sure a lot of parents will follow your lead and know that they're not alone. thank you, carrie . great job.