Originally aired on KHQ-TV – October 29, 2018
October is national “Bullying Prevention Month.” Something Kayleigh Lewis, is all too familiar with. Kayleigh says since kindergarten, she’s been struggling with bullies.
“We knew she was different from the day she was born.” Sabrina Lewis, Kayleigh’s mom, said, “I felt powerless a lot of the time.”
Sabrina Lewis said the teachers did the best they could, but kids still found a way to be mean.
“It would hurt really badly because they would say stuff that I thought nobody knew about. They would talk about my autism, my weight, my height, my hair, my clothing. They would just say anything they could to get under my skin,” Kayleigh said.
It went beyond the walls of her school.
“It stayed with me when I got home. Even online bullying, which sucked. So I would just deal with it, almost everyday,” Kayleigh said.
Kayleigh suffered from depression. She would get nervous stomach aches so bad and so often, that it caused her to have internal bleeding.
“As she got older, kids got more aware and just became meaner and meaner and meaner,” Sabrina said.
Until one day, Kayleigh and her parents decided they’d had enough. They took a chance on Washington Virtual Academies.
“They give you everything you need, it doesn’t cost anything,” Sabrina said.
Kayleigh went from failing three classes, to passing everything. Kayleigh says she’s actually excited to focus on her homework, rather that what she’s wearing to school.
“Nobody knows what anybody looks like, so they can’t make fun of her appearance,” Sabrina said.
Sabrina wants everyone to know that if their child is in a similar situation, there’s hope.
“I feel like I have my daughter back for the first time in forever,” Sabrina said.
To learn more about Washington Virtual Academy, visit https://wava.k12.com/.