Suicide  Bullying  depression

Our Special Cassie
By Estelle and Rich Gielecki

What makes someone special? 
When they care more about others 
than they care for themselves? 
When they want to make everyone happy? 
When they don’t want to overly burden anyone? 
When they show love for every living creature? 
When they care about the environment 
and people throughout the world? 
When they have an unwavering belief in God 
and the good in people?
What makes someone vulnerable? 

When they care so much about others that they won’t hold someone responsible for hurting them, but rather silently forgive them?  When they put on a happy face even though they are crying inside?  When they internalize pain to insulate others from possible pain?  When you feel every living creature’s pain?  When they agonize over the world/human condition?  When they put their entire life in God’s hand and pray that things will work out?.. 

Our daughter Cassie was all of the above.  What made her so special is what made her vulnerable.  It was clear to anyone who took the time to get past Cassie’s initial shyness, that she was a special person.  Her sense of wonder, glowing smile and radiant love were irrepressible.  As such, she received all of the love and caring from her immediate, extended family and true friends that any human being could possibly receive.  However, as a social being, she also needed to be accepted in this world by her “peers.”  >

To Cassie, everyone was her peer.  She was non-judgmental, tolerant and accepting of others.  Unfortunately, some of her “peers” were much less tolerant and accepting of Cassie.  These “peers” tormented Cassie with incessant teasing.  She internalized this teasing and forgave her tormentors, never seeking help or sympathy from others.

She was hospitalized in the summer of 2004 for depression.  We were unaware of the full extent of the teasing.  After reviewing options with the doctors and Cassie, it was mutually decided to let Cassie enter 10th grade at the same high school she had attended for 9th grade.  Quite simply, we all felt that Cassie’s special qualities would prevail and like Cassie, we believed in the good in people.  In short, we simply couldn’t comprehend anyone purposely and maliciously trying to harm our special Cassie.

Unfortunately, as we have now learned, Cassie’s “peers” weren’t such good people and the teasing continued.  At a minimum, we now know the teasing began in 8th grade and continued until her untimely death on January 15, 2005, while in 10th grade at the age of 15.  As stated earlier, special people like Cassie are vulnerable.  Moreover, they are especially vulnerable during their teenage transition years.

It is unclear what came first, the depression or the teasing.  What is clear is that Cassie was a special person, who was teased by some very not so special people.  By any measure, the teasing was at least a contributing factor to Cassie’s depression.

There are many special children in this world.  Their special qualities bring along vulnerabilities.  We wouldn’t change a thing about our special Cassie.  What we would change is the teasing she and others have endured and provide better awareness and coping resources for depression.

Toward that end, we support the Bully Police’s efforts to get individual state and national anti-bullying/teasing laws passed and NAMI (the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill).  We must provide school administrators and faculty with the ability to protect our special children.  Well-balanced laws that protect our children have been passed in other states and there is no reason for Wisconsin to wait any longer.  We must also remove the stigma associated with mental illness, so that it will be easier for children to come forward with their depression and to make insurance more available to families to help their special children.

If I Could Change the World

If you start with the world today, I’d delete all sorts of things.  I’d leave out those who take for themselves - And don’t care for others thoughts.  I’d leave out those who can’t Concentrate on what they desire. There’s no place in this world For people who talk - But don’t act, either.

Why would I wish to keep Those with no dreams Only mere wisps of thoughts And no purpose? To many people’s misfortune, there aren’t many people left when you leave out the greedy, thoughtless, boastful, hate-filled people and followers that only wish to save their lives.

If you leave out this, then what you need is desire, hope, and faithfulness. - Add the sole ingredient, respect for others - All life - And yourself - And the world is on its way To perfection.

Yesterday I was…
younger, less bruised, and not introduced to hate.  All I knew were the smiles on my parents’ faces, afternoon naps, curious expeditions, and simple things I desired.

Today I am…
more knowledgeable and mature.  I now have seen bad things, and know the language of hateful actions.  Things are not as simple, and I no longer can do simple things because of obligations.

Tomorrow I will be…
completely knowing all I seek.  Nothing will be out of reach if I try to get it.  I will be able to do everything for myself, and no longer need much help.  Although I’ll be independent, life will be more difficult and more full of obligations.  However, harder tasks have sweeter victories.


What are the 17 Signs that
Your Child is Being Bullied?
So, your child IS being bullied…
Q: Whose Problem is Bullying?
A: Bullying is an Adult Problem
Is YOUR child 
   being bullied?

Get Free Report

Bullycides & Speaking out about Bullying


A Congressman speaks out about bullying, 
and in support of an anti bullying law in Arizona

"The school ground bully has been around for too long.  His entire success at bullying is predicated upon arrogant disregard to simple decency, and a willingness to brutalize an innocent victim simply because the bully is bigger and stronger and others are afraid to intervene.  It is insidious and calls for society and government to intervene decisively.  This bullying bill is a start.  As you deliberate this bill please reflect on the fact that Government's primary purpose for existence is for the protection of its innocent citizens.   ...Then remember your bully as a child."        Congressman Trent Franks (R) Arizona


Moms Speak Out!

Order on Amazon

Bullycide in America

Many have asked,

"What is Depression?"


Here is a PDF of a chapter

from my book,

"Bullycide in America",

that will give readers an

understanding of this

horrible problem

facing millions of

people every day.



Free Bully Police E-Books


Stop the Bullying - for Educators

Get PDF file Here


All About Bullying

Get PDF file Here


Parents & Kids

Dealing With Bullying

Get PDF file Here


Stop the Bullying - for Educators

Get PDF file Here

About Depression

'Been There, Done That'

Jared's Life

Friends & Family


The Best Home Business Opportunities