Once bullied, an online school changes 9-year-old’s life

Originally aired on WBRC-TV – August 8, 2018

An Alabama girl was bullied so badly at school, her mother looked for a different way to teach her child.

“Her grades started falling, she started coming home and started withdrawing more and more,” said Angela Shealy. “I was like, ‘This is not my child. What is going on with my child?’”

It took 9-year-old Autumn Shealy some time before telling her mother she was being bullied at school.

“They were making fun of me,” said Autumn. “Saying I wasn’t pretty or anything really.”

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Angela. “You just want to grab them up and take them all away from that. You want to give them everything that you can give them in life. It’s heartbreaking to see them from being so much self-esteem to being torn down to nothing.”

That’s when Angela decided to enroll Autumn in Alabama Virtual Academy. It’s an online public school authorized by the State Department of Education and the Eufaula City School district.

When asked what her favorite subject in school was, Autumn said math.

“You can ask me really any math question and I would answer it,” she said.

It’s that confidence Autumn’s mom said she’s regaining after enrolling online.

Students K-12 interact with teachers online and families who qualify are given a loaner computer system and printer to complete coursework. And with Autumn about to begin her second year with the program, her mother said she’s already seeing a major improvement.

“I’ve started making better grades,” said Autumn. “I’ve started be more happy and putting a smile on.”

To find out which K12-powered school is nearest to you, click here.

For more information about Alabama Virtual Academy, visit https://alva.k12.com/.

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