Bullying Under Attack

How many of us have been bullied during our lifetime?  I know I was to a certain extent.  Always slightly overweight with glasses, I was called many, many  names because of my ‘appearance’.  Even my own brother made horrible, disparaging comments about me to his friends, his schoolmates…even to me.  These words are not easy to cast off.  In fact, I think they have contributed to a lot of my self-esteem issues over the years.  I can’t tell you how many times I was told I was ugly, would never amount to anything, that I was so fat I could tilt a plane on its side if I sat on its wing, and these were the “gentle” comments.  My mom would always repeat the old phrase, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’, but no matter how many times I repeated the mantra, the words did hurt…and they stuck like glue to the very fabric of my soul.

That’s why my heart breaks for our young people now.  The bullying is so much worse than anything I ever had to deal with. The nastiness, the brutality, the fights are publicized on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  There is no place sacred and safe.  And so many of our young people are committing suicide at an alarming rate because of it.

Not too long ago I stumbled upon a book that recently came out called, “Bullying” “Under Attack”, and I think it is a must read for all young people and their parents.  Read it alone.  Read it separately, it doesn’t matter to me, but when done, talk about it with each other.  The horrible, bitter words have to end, and our young people and teens need to know that we as parents are not only aware of the problem, but we are willing to do whatever it takes to stop it.  There is no reason why any more of our youth should be hurt or die from bullying.  It’s time to take a stand, and to do so, we must educate ourselves.  “Bullying” “Under Attack” is a great place to start.   If you’re a teacher, parent, or anyone under the age of 18, please, I beg you, read this book.  Librarians, doctors, pastors – please keep several copies on hand.  Together, we can stop this epidemic.

And if you’re a young person/teen who is being bullied, find someone you can confide in and get the help you need.   Words may hurt, but they don’t have to break your bones or worse still…kill you.  Always remember how beautiful and unique you are.  You are special.  People do love you.

 From the back cover:  WORDS ARE POWERFUL- they can inflict damage and they can heal. In this anthology of first-person accounts written by teenagers for both their peers and adults, words transform pain into hope and the possibility for change.

“Bullying” “Under Attack “is an eye-opening anthology of all three players in the bullying cycle. These conversational essays on life as the bullied, the bully, and the bystander provide insight and inspiration for change. Rather than offer a cumbersome psychological breakdown, this graceful and hard-hitting book places the reader firmly in the shoes of all involved.

The stories written by The Bullied explain the subtleties and agony of harassment, helping readers understand that there is more to unkind words and behavior than “just joking around.” Although many of these teens have suffered through harassment by their peers, their essays are both empowering and inspiring. By exploring the essays by The Bullies, readers will discover that the bullies are often times incorrectly labeled as bad kids, but many are simply trying to fit in, despite their own insecurities and fears. While these bullies may still have their own seemingly insurmountable obstacles at home, they share their experiences and insights hoping to manage and reforming other bullies. The section voiced by The Bystander shares tales of those who have regrettably watched and those who have stepped up to help others. Here, readers will find the inspiration to speak out rather than just standing by while others are emotionally harmed.

Whether due to race, weight, or jealousy, there are a myriad of reasons “WHY.” Included in this startling compendium of personal stories that convey the complexity and nuances of what it means to be bullied, are stories of regret, promises, and encouragement that will help readers find solace during their teen years and show them how as adults their words and actions can provide strength and reassurance to others experiencing all aspects of bullying. Ultimately, they will learn to find their voices in order to break the cycle for good.