Delaware County teen honored with award and surprise party for standing up to bullies at school

A Delaware County teen was honored by a local anti bullying foundation on Monday night for her courage to stand up to the ongoing bullying her parents say she's experienced for years. 

Teach Anti Bullying went to a home in Brookhaven to honor Mary, a 14-year-old 8th grader who has been a victim of assault, harassment, and bullying. Mary's parents say their daughter has been bullied for years and now, she's finally getting the recognition she deserves for sticking up for herself and other victims of bullying. 

An impromptu surprise party sent motorcycles flying down Mary's street. The humble special needs student had no idea the celebration was even for her. 

"All these people are here for you," said Mary's mom, Liz Finnegan. 

Liz says her daughter has been bullied by students both in and out of Northley Middle School in Aston. Mary's parents say the issues got so bad that they had to pull her out of school, so for the last month, Mary has been homeschooled. 

"It's been hell," said Liz. "She comes home crying every day." 

Verbal abuse, physical harassment, and social media threats are just a few of the things that the young girl has death with for several years. Her parents say her name was even added to a so-called "hit list." 

Teach Anti Bullying heard about Mary's story and surprised her with a medal and gifts as a part of the celebration Monday night. Mary is the 600th recipient of a national award called the Teach Anti Bullying Medal of Courage. People of Teach Anti Bullying say more students need to do what Mary did. 

"Anytime you press send. Anytime you post, it's going to affect someone's life," said the Founder of Teach Anti Bullying, Dr. Claudio Cerullo. 

Members of the Delaware County Chapter of Bikers against Child Abuse came out to make sure Mary knew they had her back, too. 

"We are here to be loud and advocate and stand up for them and stand up around them and make them feel confident and to know people are behind them," said Sarah Haines with the Delco Bikers Against Child Abuse. 

As for the teen in the spotlight, she didn't know what to make of all the attention because to her, she just did what she thought was right. 

"It does not surprise me at all. She has a lot of empathy and a lot of courage," said Liz. 

The Penn Delco School District released a statement saying they take bullying very seriously, and they have substantial record of action against bullying cases involving Mary. 

Mary is eager to get back to school, despite all the issues she's faced. But her mom, on the other than, says she won't send her daughter back until she feels safe.