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Have You Spoken To Your Children about Ashley Murray?

Missing for one week, the 16-year-old Peconic girl is on the mind of people throughout the East End. Has her case started a dialogue in your family?

Monday marks one week since Peconic teen Ashley Murray was reported missing, and since then the North Fork community has come together to try and find the 16-year-old girl to no avail.

Missing person alerts have been posted at businesses throughout the East End, a Facebook page has been set up, and news outlets continue to cover the story, as we all wait for word about what happened to the girl who left her mother a suicide a note and hasn't been seen since.

We were wondering how North Fork Patch readers, who are parents, have reacted. Has the situation sparked discussions in your house? Have your children — who didn't know Ashley — asked questions? How young is too young to discuss it with them? Have you used the situation to start a dialogue with your kids about how they can reach out if they are in despair? Or are you not sure how to handle the situation?

We would like to start a dialogue here and support one another as we all navigate a situation that has struck very close to home. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

rena wilhelm March 04, 2013 at 07:19 PM
This poor kid has been bullied since the 7th grade according to her friends.
rena wilhelm March 04, 2013 at 07:19 PM
:)
Jim March 04, 2013 at 07:24 PM
That is a sad story real time....my heart goes out to your daughter and it is accurate fix to the problem. Kids learn, what they see and hear. Parenting correctly, is a bigger job, then ever. And, it is not all about what you read, in books, or on the internet, they still want, heart to heart, face time. My sincere, "Thank You" for sharing that story.
Jim March 04, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Sorry Kaitlin I cannot disagree more. I am 67 years old wonderful life, three great kids and a wonderful wife. My life has been great. BUT as a small kid I was subject to bullying. I was fortunate enough to fight my way out of it. Some kids cant do that and it ruins thier lives forever. Its for them, we petition, an "understanding of other children"
Kaitlin Madigan March 04, 2013 at 07:35 PM
For some reason I can't hit reply to your comment, Rena. Probably because I'm on my phone. Either way, this is in response to your reply to me. While that is definitely horrible, I feel like there is an underlying issue here deeper than bullying. There are plenty of people who have horror stories about bullying who have never attempted something like this. I think we should be trying to figure out why that is. Why will some people go so far as to attempt suicide, or be depressed for years on end, while some people can go on to live happy, healthy lives and actually become stronger from their experiences? I feel like it goes back to the mindsets and perspectives people have. Obviously there are some biological impacts on how certain people react to things, but I believe with proper help that the traits we may be prone to (such as depression) can change for the better with some time and effort. Maybe not completely, but enough to be satisfactory. Either way, I don't think bullying is the cause of this. It may have added to it, yes, but we have to look at things a little deeper, I think (not that your comment wasn't thoughtful or anything lol, I'm not trying to insult you or even really aiming that comment specifically towards you, so I hope i'm not offending you in some way).
Kaitlin Madigan March 04, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Jim, I don't see where the disagreement is. I feel like your comment agrees with that I'm saying. Like you said, some people can cope with bullying and some people can't. I think we should be looking into why there is that difference instead of blaming bullying. Although I don't think you had gotten a chance to see my reply to Rena before you posted that comment, as I didn't see your reply until after I sent it. I think your comment aligns somewhat with what I said.
Kaitlin Madigan March 04, 2013 at 07:43 PM
And I also didn't read your first comment fully, so it really isn't a huge reply to you but on the fact that people just always blame bullying first before anything else
Jim March 04, 2013 at 07:50 PM
Okay, final comment and I am off the air......If, you are saying," BULLYING, IN ANY FORM IS UNACCEPTABLE", then we are in agreement 100%. We all need to work towards the answers of what to do about it. End of conversation.
Kaitlin Madigan March 04, 2013 at 07:56 PM
I don't understand why you have to have the final say and just end the conversation. I am not saying that bullying is acceptable, but it's not like the people who bully are not human. They deserve for at least someone to try and understand why they are doing such things, so we can maybe prevent someone else from becoming a bully.
rena wilhelm March 04, 2013 at 07:57 PM
not offended at all. if you read the articles that have followed Ashley's disappearance, you will find that there were numerous things for which she was bullied & I think she had more than a normal cross to bear given some other information that the articles have reported.
rena wilhelm March 04, 2013 at 07:59 PM
Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. One would just hope there is a strong enough support system for those who have to endure it.
Ed March 04, 2013 at 09:35 PM
We're in dangerous territory here, folks, because the parents you are least likely to hear from are the ones whose children are doing the bullying. And there is a likelihood that those parents themselves bullied when they were in school. There is nothing worse than a bully, because they are cowardly, immature and uneducated. And i don't mean school educated, I mean educated on how to be a decent human being. Compassion and understanding starts in the home, not on the school bus. Take a long, hard look in the mirror. Hopefully, its is not too late for Ashley. Patch, any word on her, update us immediately. Thank you.
Damon Rallis March 04, 2013 at 10:07 PM
I was on the fence as to whether or not my eight-year-old was too young to have a discussion about Ashley’s disappearance. While we were together in the car last week, I noticed a low flying helicopter and decided to go on a fact-finding expedition with him - to find out how much he already knew... I wondered allowed what the helicopter was all about and he said, matter-of-factly, “They’re probably looking for that girl.” He went on to tell me that he had seen people putting fliers up all over town and then he asked me what happened to her. I told him that she was missing since Monday and that the police think she ran away. “Why would she run away,” he asked. I used the opportunity to explain to him that no matter how alone someone feels, running away is not the answer. I explained that even if they feel like a parent or adult relative isn’t listening, they can talk to a teacher, counselor or a friend’s parent... I tried to make it clear that there is always hope and help available... no matter how bad a situation may seem. God bless Ashley.
ken payne March 05, 2013 at 12:02 AM
You sound like a GREAT DAD, my hat is off to you sir
Kathy March 05, 2013 at 02:21 AM
I think a lot of this has to do with people being mean to each other. I have never watched American Idol, but from the pieces I have seen, it seems OK to make fun of people, but this isn't considered "bullying" and I can't understand why.
Mary Jane March 05, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Kaitlin, I agree with you 1000% !!! I think you hit the nail on the head!!!!
Someonethatcares09 March 05, 2013 at 03:57 AM
bullying has never been okay but i do agree that it takes more than just bullying to lead someone to depression and self harm. this girl was bullied and hurt emotionally so many times and not just that but her home life was never too great. so her mom is also responsible for not paying enough attention to her. and also, a lot of us are worried about young ms murray but a question to all, why hasn't the mother said anything but to "stop the game"? she isn't worried at all an it makes no sense to me that we all have to worry while her mom is home doing nothing but expecting US to find her. i do not understand this at all. and for her brother to claim she was "fine" is nothing. this girl had always a smile but deep inside she was hurt. bullying, and coming out as bisexual and having NO SUPOORT from the family can hurt someone deeply. i know bc i, myself, went thru it and it hurts to not have supoort from your own parents.
Someonethatcares09 March 05, 2013 at 04:02 AM
bullying is part of why she was hurt but also, she was looking for someone who could stand besides her and say "hey, I'm your friend. have anything to say you can come talk to me and be sure i'll listen" but no one was there. she isolated everyone, yes, but one does not simply give up just like that. if one knows there's something going on one has to be there at any cost. Young ms Murray is strong and kind hearted. not a lot of people could see behin that wonderful smile the pain she was going thru bc she cared about everyone else more than herself but when she finally broke, she was alone. her mom shouldn't be angry. or saying "stop the game". its no game. all she wanted was for her mom to pay attention to her and support her, but her mom never did. i don't understand why but the bullying i do know didn't have much to do with why she's missing.
rena wilhelm March 05, 2013 at 01:13 PM
I eluded to this notion on the Ashley Come Home Facebook page & received a total smack down by 2 of the girl's relatives. That I shouldn't assume I knew what was going on at home, that there wasn't an intervention or that the family didn't take it seriously enough. I removed that post & apologized to both of them. However, I agree with you (someonethatcares09).
Someonethatcares09 March 05, 2013 at 02:05 PM
well i know the family, i know how she was treated there fore i am not going to take the commemt down. and whoever doesnt know exacty what goes on should not be talking because i withness so much go on at ashley's home and i feel like people should understand that the home life she lived was not a good as the family tries to make it seem. i apologize if what i say its wron but i cant help it. ashley was my friend and always had my support. but she wanted her family's support which she never had.
rena wilhelm March 05, 2013 at 02:11 PM
re-read my post. i am saying I agree with you. i removed my post from facebook because i really didn't want to get into it with people i didn't know, but i fully support what you have stated.
MaryGrace Steinfeld March 05, 2013 at 02:17 PM
I think it's important to remember that this isn't a time to pass judgment on anyone. I am sure any mother or sibling in this type of tragedy goes back and regrets so many things that have occurred prior. Even the best mother would have those feelings. Every mother struggles with satisfying the needs of their children within their own capabilities. Ashley's mother, based on the articles that have been written, clearly did not have an easy situation. She was a single mother supporting two children. I myself am not in that situation and therefore would not judge that person. I am sure that she had to work many hours just to bring in the income to support her children. Therefore, balancing the physical and emotional needs with the limited time one has in a day can be very difficult for the best of us. So all I say is to think twice before blaming parents and siblings in this situation, since most of us have not walked in their shoes.
Someonethatcares09 March 05, 2013 at 02:29 PM
i'm not judging at all. i am just saying that her mom doesnt seem to care. and for her to say to stop the game is kond of very insensitive. i do not have kids and i do understand that this is a tough situation and her mom would probably blame me for this like others have recently but tbh, her mom was raising only ashley now because her son moved out. so no, she was left with ashley at home. her mom worked yes but she also paid no attention to her daughter. and there was not support and on my mind thats wrong agree or disagree thats fine by me but think of this well. Mrs Murray clearly was not aware of what was going thru Ms Murray's mind. and honestly had no support of her sexuality. i am not judging i am telling as it is. her mom might have had it tough but i believe this is partially the mother fault. next to bullying, but there is more to it but i am sure no one really wants to hear it because all they will think its that i am judging or blaming which sounds like i am but honestly i'm just puttin it out there.
Michael Bredemeyer March 05, 2013 at 02:31 PM
I've Heard She Was Bullied A Little But Was Also A Bully Herself!
Someonethatcares09 March 05, 2013 at 02:39 PM
she was a bully at times and i can tell you that because she bullied me because i'm short, & i tend to stutter at times and my accent. she thought it was funny and she tried to start online a few times. but she probably only bullied because she was sick of how others treated her but i cannot speak for her way of being at times. i do know she could be mean to others and others would mock her.
Jim March 05, 2013 at 03:02 PM
simple fact remains....16 year old girl gone missing and in a weeks time there are no answers... and interest (with a few exceptions) is waining. Sad Sad story.
MaryGrace Steinfeld March 05, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Clearly someonethatcares09 you cared a lot about your friend Ashley. And your feelings do you credit. This is a terrible tragic situation that makes everyone cry. But for the people who knew her directly, like yourself, you end up torn up inside over what could have been if things had been done differently. I get a feeling you may have been a schoolmate of Ashley or of a similar age bracket. Use your feelings to make a change. Students need a group to help them have a voice. Create an anti bullying group in your community/school so that kids can have a place to come to be heard by their peers. And where as a group you can report bullying and have each others back on a daily basis. But also let kids come also to voice issues and concerns that may be occurring at home so the group can help them as well. Changes occur when people unify and stand together on an issue. If you look online their is a group called Ambassadors for Kids (A4K). It may be of interest to you. Whatever you decide, just try to use what you are feeling to create something positive out of it.
Someonethatcares09 March 05, 2013 at 03:45 PM
i did, more than people come to think. and this is a terrible situation. i did not go to her school. I am from Greenport school and we used to hang out a lot before her mother decided to interfere but that's a different story. i will take that idea into consideration. and thank you for your support and help. I will make a dofference to those in need and i hope you can some day help this become a better place and of you are a parent please understand we mean no harm and us being different and for parents to not support us is a big torn up idea and it hurts us deep down. but due to this situation i will take into consideration the idea of creating an anti bullying group. Thank you very much MaryGrace Steinfeld. I appreciate the understanding and your way of coming to me without any negativeness.
MaryGrace Steinfeld March 05, 2013 at 04:20 PM
You are so welcome someonethatcares09 . And know that I don't judge you. There is nothing to judge. We are all different on some way or another. Just know there are many accepting people and parents in the community. Also remember that others base their beliefs on what they were taught when they were young. That doesn't mean it can't be changed. I actually have a nephew who came out as a bisexual after he entered college. Surprisingly enough my brother, his father, who was always religious, accepted this and was supportive to him. So don't despair, there are people in the community who care. If you go to Greenport schools you happen to have a great superintendent based on my experience with him. I bet if you speak to him he would be very supportive in helping you form the group.
Someonethatcares09 March 05, 2013 at 04:35 PM
thank you very much for your support. and i do know many people who have become very supportive of this an have helped me thru a lot. My parents do not agree or accept e for how i am but there are others who have come to help me thru so much and i am grateful they have stayed and helped me thru the tough times. I do feel hurt that Ashley did not have the support i had but i did want to help her. she said a few things to me and always atempted to push me away which is why i couldnt have helped her thru the tough times she had the last few weeks. i do care about her and i feel awful about the situation but i will do anything to help others who need to be heard. because just like others i needed support and all it took was corage to go up to someone and open up. take the risk and i came to be accepted. my parents still dont because they think is against their belief and i understand so i try to be good for them and try to not make them different around me. i am glad your nephew has the support of his father. and i will try to go up to the superintendent and speak with him about this and how i want to help oters at least by giving them a chance to be heard. i appreciate the help

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