Bullied 5th Grader Inspired by Letter From the President

Student, fed up with bullying, writes Obama, gets inspiring response

By Anne Grant
|  Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010  |  Updated 2:13 PM EDT
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Local 11-year-old <a title=Ziainey Stokes got President Obama's support in dealing with bullying at her school in West Philadelphia." />

NBC Philadelphia - Jillian Mele

Local 11-year-old Ziainey Stokes got President Obama's support in dealing with bullying at her school in West Philadelphia.

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Some kids turn to parents, friends or teachers if they’re dealing with bullies. But one local girl went right to the top for a little help.

Student Ziainey Stokes from West Philadelphia wrote a letter to President Obama about bullying in January. The 11-year-old was fed up with being a victim after several years of abuse at two schools.

“I wrote that some people don’t care if you get bullied or not, but I do care,” Ziainey said.

Not expecting a response, Ziainey was ecstatic to find what arrived in her mailbox in March – a genuine letter from the Commander-in-Chief.

“I wanted to cry, but I was in public so I went home and went into the bathroom and started crying because I was so happy,” said Ziainey.

In the letter, Mr. Obama thanked Ziainey for bringing attention to the issue of bullying.

“Your letter demonstrates a desire to change the culture of your classroom as well as your community,” he wrote.

The letter also ended with a promise: "You deserve a safe, engaging, and enjoyable classroom, and together we will strive to make this a reality."

That sentence -- and the entire letter for that matter -- resonated with the young girl, inspiring her to start a new organization to fight bullying.

“I’m starting an organization called No Kid Should Be Bullied,” Ziainey commented on her quest to help other kids feel accepted at school.

Ziainey's mom Zina admits she was surprised when her daughter said she penned a letter to the president, but says she's proud of the way the girl dealt with the issue.

“Ziainey handled it her way, which is great, because her way was non-physical,” Zina said.

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