Allison's Book Bag

Talking About Bullies

Posted on: July 17, 2014

Bullying is a popular topic right now. So much attention can be given to it thanks to social media. It’s also a controversial topic, because there are so many different sides to it and no clear answers exist. If there was a straightforward solution, bullying wouldn’t still happen. It’s also the topic of a book which has frequently caught my eye: Dear Bully. In it, seventy authors tell their stories. I’ll review it tomorrow. Save the date: July 17!

The forward is by Ellen Hopkins, who knows about bullying personally and through her children. One incident with the latter was so important that Hopkins had to call the sheriff. She also provides some statistics.

  • On a monthly average 282,000 students are physically attacked by a bully.
  • On a daily average 160,000 children miss school because they fear they will be bullied if they attend classes.
  • A child commits suicide as a direct result of being bullied once every half hour, with 19000 bullied children attempting to commit suicide once every half hour.
  •  Every seven seconds a child is bullied on a school playground, with more than eighty-five percent of those instances occurring without any intervention.

There are others, but the most startling to me is the one about suicide. Whatever one thinks about bullying, it’s clear a solution is needed when it’s so bad that some of our youth feeling dying is better than putting up with bullying for another day.

MeganHallCarrieJonesThe editors are Megan Hall and Carrie Jones. They share the origins of Dear Bully at Reading.Org. To summarize, Hall had been following some news stories about bullies, writing a novel featuring mean girls, and also hearing from parents that their daughters were in reality facing girls as mean as those portrayed in Hall’s books. Jones had also been hearing about bullying and writing about it. The two unaware of it ended up blogging about bullies on the same day and decided to join forces to call for stories from authors who had survived bullying during their youth. They hoped in this way to instill hope to those teens who are currently facing bullies.

Dear Bully also has an online presence. Check it out any of the below links:

A portion of the proceeds from Dear Bully goes to Stomp Out Bullying. This site has a lot of resources on bullying and includes a toll-free line young people can call for help.

Hopkins points out that it takes a village to create safe communities, homes, and schools. For that reason, we all need to educate ourselves. That way, we can become part of the solution.

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