Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy
On Sale: February 19, 2013
Hardcover / e-Book
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Self-Help | Non-Fiction
Being a teenager has never been easy, but in recent years,
with the rise of the Internet and social media, it has
become exponentially more challenging. Bullying, once
thought of as the province of queen bees and goons, has
taken on new, complex, and insidious forms, as parents and
educators know all too well.
No writer is
better poised to explore this territory than Emily Bazelon,
who has established herself as a leading voice on the social
and legal aspects of teenage drama. In Sticks and
Stones, she brings readers on a deeply researched,
clear-eyed journey into the ever-shifting landscape of
teenage meanness and its sometimes devastating consequences.
The result is an indispensable book that takes us from
school cafeterias to courtrooms to the offices of Facebook,
the website where so much teenage life, good and bad, now
Along the way, Bazelon defines what
bullying is and, just as important, what it is not.
She explores when intervention is essential and when kids
should be given the freedom to fend for themselves. She also
dispels persistent myths: that girls bully more than boys,
that online and in-person bullying are entirely distinct,
that bullying is a common cause of suicide, and that harsh
criminal penalties are an effective deterrent. Above all,
she believes that to deal with the problem, we must first
Blending keen journalistic and
narrative skills, Bazelon explores different facets of
bullying through the stories of three young people who found
themselves caught in the thick of it. Thirteen-year-old
Monique endured months of harassment and exclusion before
her mother finally pulled her out of school. Jacob was
threatened and physically attacked over his sexuality in
eighth grade—and then sued to protect himself and change the
culture of his school. Flannery was one of six teens who
faced criminal charges after a fellow student’s suicide was
blamed on bullying and made international headlines. With
grace and authority, Bazelon chronicles how these kids’
predicaments escalated, to no one’s benefit, into
community-wide wars. Cutting through the noise,
misinformation, and sensationalism, she takes us into
schools that have succeeded in reducing bullying and
examines their successful strategies. The result is a
groundbreaking book that will help parents, educators, and
teens themselves better understand what kids are going
through today and what can be done to help them through it.
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