It’s often difficult for parents to talk about bullying and bigotry with their children.
A new book, “I Am Me and You Are You," from a local mom, tackles these tough concepts and questions in a world where bullying has become all too common.
Stopbullying.gov reports fifteen percent of high school students were bullied electronically and “in one large study, about 49% of children in grades 4–12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once during the past month.”
The author Stacie Sullivan-Simon, from Bedford, wants to make the world a better place for her two children, ages twelve and four.
“I had been asking God… what is my purpose,” Sullivan-Simon said. “I know that I have two beautiful children… I know that I need to raise them to be ethical and moral productive citizens of the world.”
She decided to put her ideas down in a picture book. “I just wanted to do something… to actually do something to see if I can make a difference.”
The story and illustrations show a main character who does what everybody else does --- gets ready for school, eats a meal, hangs out with friends and likes to learn. “Kids will be able to identify with the main character and see that just because this kid has different skin color, we all do the same thing… we’re all humans,” Sullivan-Simon told WKYC’s Hilary Golston.
The story of a Cincinnati-area third grader who allegedly when home and used a neck tie to hang himself after being bullied at school, shocked Sullivan-Simon. It shocked the nation. “Kids can be so mean… I’m just hoping that this book will just start the discussion.”
Sullivan-Simon sees the benefits of discussing the realities of bullying in her own home.
She says her 12-year-old will step in, when she sees someone being bullied and hopes she can build a program around the book to promote active learning.
Students might role play the scenarios detailed in the book to understand how to always be kind, Sullivan-Simon explained.