A warm hello! I’m Steven Carman, a writer from Long Island, New York. I’m proud to have my story “Hailey’s Shooting Star” included in the soon-to-be-published anthology “Tales from the Bully Box.” And I’m proud to be part of the Bully Brigade, a team of authors, parents and professionals who are dedicated to helping bullied kids and teens. I have two young daughters, 4 and 6, who are just starting their journeys in the public school system. It’s likely that they will someday have to deal with bullying.
I know firsthand that bullying can start as early as 3rd grade and peak in middle school and high school. Today, bullying doesn’t just occur during the school day. It can occur 24/7 with social media. So the challenges to combat bullying are that much greater. Bullying isn’t just some people’s problem. It’s everyone’s problem.
It’s clear to me that school admins today, at least where I live, are much more proactive in addressing bullying issues than when I went to school. On Open School Night, I was glad to see anti-bullying posters on the walls throughout the school and forms in the lobby that kids could complete and drop into a box to report bullying. They have anti-bullying assembly programs in place. The Superintendent frequently sends out automated calls in which he delivers anti-bullying messages. Kudos to him and the school.
I’m not naïve enough to think that these actions will completely stop bullying. But they’re steps in the right direction. If all the effort results in one bystander finding the strength to intervene, or one bullied kid finding the strength to tell a teacher, or one bully finding the strength to reform and not bully, then it’s all worth it. The same goes for why I wrote the story I did for the anthology: If just one kid reads the story and it helps him or her in his or her own bullying situation, then it’s all worth it.