Family’s parade against bullying

A family is sending a powerful message to kids during their daughter's last day of school.


WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/ WMGT) – Bullying is a problem many children face across the county. One 11-year-old girl says, she’s done with being picked on.

“I didn’t want to go to school, and I wanted to die,” Ashley Gorton said.

For Ashley’s last day of 6th grade, her parents wanted to remind her how loved she is. By coordinating a mini parade with friends and strangers to escort her to school.

“Started out as just a few friends getting together to bring my daughter to school on motorcycles to show her a little bit of support,” her father Todd Gorton said.

Ashley was diagnosed with Asperger’s in kindergarten. 3rd grade is when name calling and harsh words began.

“It’s not the ‘gimme your lunch money or I’ll beat you up.’ It’s the, get under your skin, tease at you every day, call you names,” he said.

“If you gotta pick partners, she’s definitely going to be the last to be picked,” her mother Amy Gorton said.

“In 5th grade, it was really bad. We thought it would be done, but it wasn’t,” Ashley said.

Her parents are asking for teachers, everywhere, to be more aware of the signs of bullying. And for parents to:

“Get involved. Find out what your kids are doing online. Ask your kids, whats going on at school. Ask if anyone’s being picked on because they can be saving someone’s life,” her mother said.

“When it’s happening, even if it’s a teacher, just tell them immediately so you can stop this,” Ashley said.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.