By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the prologue to Sticks and Stones, author Emily Bazelon describes an episode in her life that happened two and a half decades ago. In her words, she was fired. Being rejected by the girls she loved left her with self-doubt and insecurity. Shortly, she found a friend, but the hurt is remembered still.
Bazelon’s book focuses on stories of three bullied kids: Monique, the target of the girls, who went through depression and finally found happiness switching schools; Phoebe, an Irish newcomer to her school, who, after severe bullying committed suicide; and Jacob, who was gay, struggled against prejudice, yet provoked much of the behavior. You get to know them, suffer with them, and recall incidents in your life when you have been rejected.
The book describes the work of Dan Olweus and George Sugai, who believe in positive rewards rather than punishment, and references movies, Facebook and anti-discrimination programs. An important work for all those interested in a more civil society.