"A child who plays `the bully' dresses, speaks, and acts the part, as do `the bullied' and `the bystander.' It is the posturing, the words, the actions, and the consequences of these elements combined that is the concern of this book."
The above extract comes from the beginning of this extremely informative book by Barbara Coloroso. Coloroso, a former teacher, is an internationally recognized speaker, and author in the areas of parenting, teaching, school discipline, non-violent conflict resolution, reconciliatory justice, and grieving.
Besides telling the reader everything about the bully, the bullied, and the bystanders who observe the bullying, there are insights from selected others (psychologists, etc.) also included.
What makes this book especially powerful are the true stories of those children who "made a tragic and final exit" due to bullying. As Coloroso tells us:
"The common thread in all of these accounts is that these children are bullied relentlessly and, in most cases, the bullying went on without substantial objections, indignation, adequate intervention, or outrage."
Finally, to get the message of this book across effectively and to make it easy to access information, the author includes many lists. I found these most helpful.
In conclusion, this book, in my opinion, is the definitive guide to this problem. I leave you with some of the author's final words:
"The bully, the bullied, and the bystander--I hope you now have a clearer understanding of these roles and how the interactions involved in such role-playing, though common-place in our culture, are not healthy, not normal, certainly not necessary, and in fact are devastating to the children playing them.
We as parents and educators can rewrite the script and create for our children alternative, healthier roles that require no [pretension] and no violence. With care and commitment, we can [divert] the behaviours of the bully into positive leadership activities; acknowledge the non-aggressive behaviours of the bullied child as strengths that can be developed and are honoured; and transform the role of the bystander into that of a witness, someone willing to stand up, speak out, and act against injustice."
(first published 2002; acknowledgements; introduction; 9 chapters; main narrative 205 pages; sources; index)
<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>