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    Teen turns graffiti bullying into positive message

    Date: 07.14.14 | by Judge Tom.

    Carleigh O’Connell of New Jersey heard from friends at school that someone spray-painted “Carleigh’s ass” across a cement barrier at a nearby beach. Instead of getting upset about it, she turned it around for other bullying victims to learn from.

    Carleigh O'Connell

    Carleigh O’Connell

    Carleigh found the graffiti and posed with it in her swimsuit. She posted the photo on Instagram that’s gone viral with messages of support. Carleigh explained in an interview that “I wanted to show whoever decided to write that that I was stronger than that. It didn’t impact me at all. I didn’t put my head down, I didn’t cry about it. I didn’t give the kids the power they wanted.”

    “The biggest message I want to get across is just to be strong, and that anyone who is experiencing bullying and anything like that, that they’re not alone and there’s people there for them — and I’m one of them.”

    Nice going, Carleigh. You’re mature handling of this will benefit others.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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