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Monday, September 15, 2014

Today I offer the introduction to a re-release of a book which deals with a subject that I am quite passionate about: bullying.

Bullied as a child, I am well aware of the damage to a child's self-esteem, feelings of security and safety, and joy in life.  The time of my travail lasted from age seven to eleven, finally ending when I fought back.

One can only imagine my feelings when my son began to experience the same problem, not because, like me, he was poor, ill fed and dressed, but for the simple reason that, like the author, he was born...different.  Christopher was born with a moderately severe clefting of the lip, gums and hard and soft palates.

His bullying began in first grade.  Thankfully, his teacher was one who could not abide such behavior.  Unfortunately, my son's art teacher could not claim the same intolerance to bullying.  Although he won a state award for his artwork, she flunked him, and was heard saying to another teacher, "I can't stand looking at that deformed mouth," and affecting a dramatic shudder.

In middle school, my son was again bullied because of his clefting, and once again, a teacher was also involved.

Disgusting, unconscionable, unbelievable! But it exists.

In The Snake Pit: Jr. High Can be Torture,  the author touches on this subject, and in a style that I can only compare to The Laramie Project, chronicles the life of a young girl who is bullied simply because she looks different.  Pay attention!  This book should be in every school, and most definitely should be made into a documentary.

The Snake Pit: Jr. High can be Torture Synopsis:

Cinda doesn't look like other twelve-year-old girls. A facial defect, and the surgery to correct it, has left her face scarred and disfigured. When she walks into Hargrove Junior High for the first time, Cinda knows the other kids won't see how smart she is, or what a good friend she could be. The other kids will see her as a monster, and her life will be torture.

The school cafeteria, or The Snake Pit, as the kids call it, is the prime location for bullying. One pretty girl in particular takes an instant dislike to Cinda. Day after day she is pushed, tripped, and laughed at. Not all the other kids bully her, but only one tries to help.

Charlene Carsten is Cinda's only friend. She tries to stop the bullying, but the other kids won't listen. She tries to tell the Principal, but he only sees what he wants to. She tries to tell the teachers, but they all say the same thing, “kids will be kids.”

When Cinda falls victim to a vicious prank at a school dance, it sets off a series of events that will change the lives of everyone involved.

Order your copy here, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NJCKFCO/,ask your library to carry it, and definitely ask your school to include this book in their curriculum.

1 comment:

  1. What a powerful blog, Debra. Thank you for sharing this important piece of work on bullying.