My novel, SEND, is a story about a former bully who hopes to escape his past by changing schools and his name only to fall in love with a girl he does not yet know is his victim’s sister… but she does.
When I began working on this project, I was astounded by the sheer number of teens who sext and taunt and torture using technology like cell phones and the internet with absolutely no concept of its permanence, its reach, or its speed. You may think I’m naive or perhaps simply wrong, but I choose to believe most of the horrible stories hitting the news lately are not about ‘bad kids’, ‘mean kids,’ or even ‘cruel kids.’ Rather, I think they’re all clueless.
That’s where we come in. As adults – as parents, educators, mentors, it’s our job to educate kids on the power of the technology they treat as a toy. On this page, I’m collecting a list of links to various resources – blogs of first-hand accounts of bullying terror, news stories that describe in excruciating detail what happens to kids who engage in bullying behavior, and where you can go for help – if you’re bullied, are the parent of a bullied child, or even a bully who’s ready to stop hurting people. If you have a link to share, please leave a comment. Let this be our wake-up call.
The child you save could be your own.
Single Dad Laughing – one of the hardest-to-read-but-must-be-read accounts I’ve found
Ryan Patrick Halligan – whose father spoke at my sons’ school
Ellen Degeneres on the death of a Rutgers student outed by his dorm mates.
Suicide Hotlines – if you feel like there’s no one to talk to, call one.
Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) – New York State law. Brush up on the specifics now; it goes into effect in 2012 and could be a model for the rest of the country.