Bullied high school student graduates alone

Posted at 4:35 PM, Jun 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-17 16:35:56-04

WALLINGFORD, CT (WTIC/CNN) - A bullied high school student graduated alone.

Before the ceremony, MacKenzie Torcello had had private tutoring her senior year to avoid going to class. The school system provided the tutoring at the local library.

She didn't even want to graduate with her classmates at Lyman Hall High School. So the school organized a special ceremony just for her.

"The bullying, the making fun of, the name calling, the just ... I didn't feel comfortable being near them," she said.

She said her peers made her feel terrible and worthless.

She did not attend the prom.

Her mother, Priscilla Torcello, said that "her teachers were there. her counselors were there. it was a really, it was just really a great day."

The new graduate said she liked the ceremony.

"I felt special, like, you know, they did it,” she said. “They went out of their way just to do it for me."

The mother says she hopes her daughter's story will empower others battling bullying.

"Speak up," she said. "Make sure you're heard."

Mackenzie says that she wants to pursue a future in still photography.

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