Updated: Friday, 11 Mar 2011, 8:42 AM EST
Published : Friday, 11 Mar 2011, 8:41 AM EST
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - One year ago we introduced you to Catharine Semmler, a 6th grader at Princess Anne Middle School in Virginia Beach. Semmler was bullied because of her attention deficit disorder and Aspberger's syndrome. Her mother, Natalie Semmler, contacted us for help after Cat made a powerful and alarming video about how the bullies were making her feel.
"Sometimes when I imagine my heart, like from all the bullying, I imagine there would be scars all over it from the bullying...makes you feel like no one really cares," Cat explained.
After cat's story aired last May, she said she started receiving support and apologies, and things got better.
"She seems more at peace, she's a more typical teenager, meaning, when she cries, she cries about teenage things, rather than because someone threw the contents of her bag across the courtyard or somebody was pushing her up against a wall. There's a real sense of relief for our entire family," Semmler's mom Natalie said.
For Cat, it's the little things. She said, "I actually have some people to sit with at lunch every day, we fool around a lot."
Cat says even some of the kids who made her feel invisible are now people she looks forward to seeing.
"I'm friends with the kids at my bus stop who use to ignore me a lot," Cat said.
And once Cat arrives at Princess Anne Middle school, there's evidence the culture has changed.
"They have signs all over the school. They've held several different types of assemblies," Cat's mom explained.
Cat and her mom have this advice for families dealing with bullies: Speak up, and speak out.
"We spoke with the principal, we spoke with the administration, we reached out in all of our social networks, our Facebook, Twitter, everything that we could think to do. There was a "No bull Hampton Roads" group where parents exchanged information, we met with other parents," explained Cat's mom.
"If someone is bullying them, they should tell someone and not keep quiet, even if they're scared," Cat said.
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