If you are a parent that is dealing with or concerned about the issue of bullying in your chidl(ren)’s schools, Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy is a must-read. Emily Bazelon confronts this difficult topic with case studies and a practical guide on bullying. Two Moms Own Words readers will win a copy of Sticks and Stones.
Sticks and Stones Review
I have two young boys in grade school and my oldest is about to start middle school in the fall. Bullying is a concern of mine as they get older. My two boys are kind, sensitive souls who may someday fall prey to the cruelty of their peers.
While we haven’t been raising them to be hateful, I suppose they could easily get caught up in behavior that could be labeled as bullying. Just read the chapter called Flannery and you will see how a few isolated incidents (were only part of a series of events that) led to the suicide of Pheobe Prince. It was fascinating to read the true details that the author exposes of this famous case. She spent lots of time interviewing the “bullies” including Flannery. There was much more to this story than the media would report- getting to the bottom of this story was as difficult as investigating a crime.
This book was so interesting to me because it includes the complete stories of two kids who were the victims of bullying – Monique and Jacob. Starting with the very first incidents and ending with the resolutions. The third story is about Flannery, one of the bullies in the Pheobe Prince case.
The fact is, bullying is not just confined to our schools. It is on our screens, laptops, smartphones, on social media sites. It’s everywhere. According to the author, prevention campaigns in schools and awareness are proven ways to defeat bullying. Kids must be reminded that bullying isn’t the norm. Kids need to understand that cruelty is the exception, not the rule.
“The key is to remember that almost everyone has the capacity for empathy and decency – and to tend that seed as best as we possibly can.”
The book teaches that often kids will bully because they stand to gain from it in terms of social status. The problem is to dismantle that kind of informal reward system. Adults, also play a role in bullying stories, by either their apathy or by doing too much in response to the situation.
The PBIS system has been used by many schools and it has helped with bullying. The acronym means “positive behavioral interventions and supports.” PBIS wasn’t designed to address bullying directly, however, a 2012 study revealed that teachers in PBIS schools reported less bullying and peer rejection than teachers in schools without PBIS.
Most significant for parent’s is to know their responsibility for their child’s well being. It’s a fine balance between engaging with them and knowing when to leave them alone. We have to know how much freedom to give our kids in the physical and the virtual world.
According to the author, awareness is the first step to preventing bullying and to helping kids through it. The book includes an FAQ section and resources. It’s a fascinating read as well as invaluable guide to bullying.
In the following video, Emily talks about her book on Morning Joe
About Sticks and Stones
STICKS AND STONES is a groundbreaking and indispensable guide to understanding teenage cruelty in the Internet era, why it’s come to feel so inescapable, and what parents, educators, advocates, and kids can do about it. We hope you will consider this important book for coverage this coming March.
ISBN 9780812992809 ∙ e-Book ISBN 9780679644002
About the Author
EMILY BAZELON is a senior editor at Slate, a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, a frequent guest on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, and the Truman Capote Fellow at Yale Law School. Before joining Slate, she worked as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, and lives in New Haven with her husband and two sons. This is her first book.
Sticks and Stones is available on Randomhouse.com in hardcover, ebook and audiobook formats.
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying Book Giveaway
Two Moms Own Words readers will win a copy of Sticks and Stones. The first winner drawn will get first pick of audio book or hard cover.
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Giveaway ends on March 21st, 11:59 PM EST. Open to US. Winners will be chosen by random.org through Rafflecopter and contacted by email. Please respond in 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. To be fair to everyone, comments not meeting requirements will be deleted.