A year to the day she was told by school superintendent that she couldn't transfer to a Meriden magnet school after being bullied, a Middletown teen enrolled in that very school.
Monique McClain, 14, who appealed, along with her mother Alicia and grandmother Alexa for a year for help from the Middletown Board of Education with the relentless bullying Monique endured at Woodrow Wilson Middle School while an eight-grader, has found a new school and wonderful friends, her grandmother says.
Last February, Alexa beseeched school officials to give Monique an out-of-school tutor if they are powerless to stop the bullying.
On Jan. 28, the family held a surprise welcome back to school party at the Green Street Arts Center for Monique, who enrolled in Thomas Edison Middle School on Jan. 6, complete with a DJ, music, food, and former Mayor Sebastian N. Giuliano.
Her grandmother had written a poem for Monique about her rising above the bullying and enlisted a rapper to sing the song at the party as a special surprise.
Monique will be attending a New York press conference in March for Boxing Champions against Bullying, on stage again with Sergio Martinez and his promoter Lou DiBella, a New York activist against bullying and violence.
Last June, Monique was a second-place finisher in The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity Kids’ Speak and Kids' Court statewide essay competition. It focused on discussion and open dialogue about human rights, hate crimes and bullying.