Oct. 16, 2017

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”  –  John Holmes, author

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and while strides have been made to put an end to bullying, the statistics are still staggering.

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According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2016), 1 out of every 5 students has reported being bullied. Even more challenging is that other studies show that more than 60 percent of students do not report bullying. Students also face cyberbullying, with 1 in 3 middle/high schoolers reporting a cyber threat and more than 50 percent of teens reporting being bullied online.

In the face of these statistics, it can seem like an overwhelming problem. The key is to help build a network of support for our students. Having a peer or a trusted adult to talk with can make a difference. We must help all of our students develop empathy and an understanding of the importance of speaking up and lending support when they see someone being bullied.

To that end, I offer a list of some of the many books and websites available to help keep the lines of communication open between our students and to provide support for conversations about the impact of bullying.

If you want more help, please reach out to the tremendous social workers throughout Indianapolis Public Schools. Each day they work to help our kids navigate the many social/emotional challenges that arise. IPS schools also have school-based support available through Adult & Child Health, Midtown Community Mental Health and also Unified Solutions.

PICTURE BOOKS

  • “The Bully Blockers Club,” by Teresa Bateman
  • “One,” Kathryn Otoshi
  • “Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others,” by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy
  • “Secret of the Peaceful Warrior,” by Dan Millman
  • “My Secret Bully,” Trudy Ludwig
  • “Just Kidding,” Trudy Ludwig
  • “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon,” Patty Lovell
  • “Each Kindness,” Jacqueline Woodson
  • “Nobody Knew What to Do: A Story about Bullying,” Becky Ray McCain
  • “Mr. Lincoln’s Way,” Patricia Polacco
  • “Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship,” Edward Hemingway
  • “The Sissy Duckling,” Harvey Fierstein

NOVELS

  • “Wonder,” by R.J. Palacio (The movie based on this book will be in theaters starting November 17, 2017.)
  • “Bully,” Patricia Polacco
  • “Wolf Hollow,” Lauren Wolk
  • “Garvey’s Choice,” Nikki Grimes
  • “Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth,” Jeff Anderson
  • “Girl in the Well is Me,” Karen Rivers
  • “Larger-Than-Life Lara,” by Dandi Daley Mackall
  • “The Liberation of Gabriel King,” K.L. Going
  • “The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown,” Crystal Allen
  • “Confessions of a Former Bully,” Trudi Ludwig
  • “Blackbird Fly,” Erin Entrada Kelly
  • “Real Friends,” Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

NON-FICTION

  • We Want You to Know: Kids Talk About Bullying,” Deborah Ellis
  • “Bullying and Me: Schoolyard Stories,” Ouisie Shapiro and Steven Vote
  • “Bullies Are a Pain in the Brain,” Trevor Romain
  • “Say Something,” Peggy Moss
  • “Letters to a Bullied Girl: Messages of Healing and Hope,” Olivia Gardner, with Emily and Sarah Buder

YOUNG ADULT/TEEN

  • The Skin I’m In,” Sharon Flake
  • “Playground,” 50 Cent
  • “Chess Rumble,” G. Neri
  • “George,” Alex Gino
  • “The Bully,” Paul Langan
  • “The Outsiders,” S.E. Hinton
  • “Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass,” Meg Medina
  • “Eleanor & Park,” Rainbow Rowell
  • “Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories,” edited by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones

WEBSITES

Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center

Stomp Out Bullying