Normally when an author sends me a request to read one of their books I generally ignore it (namely because I don't have an ebook reader, and that the book is either fantasy/science fiction, or ridiculously long) however when I received an email from Mrs Sansostri with a request to read the book her son had written something about it piqued my interest so I decided that I would have a look at it and write down my thoughts upon the subject.
There are probably lots of us on this site who have been the subject of bullying at school and I must admit, from personal experience, it is not nice. However school can be a difficult time of life anyway (not that it gets any easier after graduation, or when you begin working, however, for a kid like me, who grew up in a loving family, being thrust into the harsh reality of society that primary school creates a microcosm of, was a huge reality check, and one to which I never really managed to adjust). From our point of view, that is the one being bullied, it may seem as if the bullies are the ones that have got it all together, however the truth of the matter is that they don't – otherwise they wouldn't be bullying us. The reason that many of the bullies are bullies are because they themselves have serious problems and the only way that they can deal with it is to let out their anger on those who are weaker than them. In fact, you will find that there are kids that are bullied who in turn let out their frustration of others, and in effect it has the potential to become a huge chain reaction that can pretty much can make everybody's experience of school pretty miserable.
Having not been to primary school for an awful long time it is difficult to understand what the situation is like now, however I suspect that it is little different to what I experienced, though I suspect schools are somewhat more alert to bullying. The reason I say that is because schools are legally liable for you (as the child) from when you leave home to when you arrive back home. This is very much more the case with private schools (public schools in England) where you are wearing a distinctive uniform identifying the school. The school may seem a little harsh when they say that the rules of the school apply to you while you are in the uniform (right up until you walk back into your own home) but that is because, as I have said, the school is legally liable for you.
For instance, a school in Duval County Florida was ordered to pay out $100,000 because a child was assaulted by a known school bully. In another case a Chicago woman is suing her school for $2 million dollars because the school failed to prevent constant bullying against her throughout her time there. In another case a Florida school was ordered to pay out $4,000,000.00 because a child's arm was broken when he was attacked by a bully. Okay, while the school's insurance fund will inevitably pay out those damages, they still have an effect upon the school and the premiums that they pay. Further, these days teachers are also liable for the way they treat children and cannot discriminate against them. In fact, if a teacher is overtly loud, threatening, or hands out unreasonable punishment, then they could not only find themselves out of a job, but also struck of the register.
The reason I mention this is because many aspects of this book tell us that when we are bullied then we should report the bully. If it is reported to the school, and the school fails to do anything about it, then the school, and the teachers, could find themselves in trouble. However, I do know that we need to be discerning in what we report because the old adage of the boy who cried wolf still applies and we simply cannot go around reporting people simply because they make faces at us.
As for this book, well I have to admit that it is not going to solve all your problems at school but it can give you some guidance on how to survive. One of the problems is that once you have a label (whether it be a class clown, a sook, or even a snitcher) it is very difficult to shake that label. If you are already a target for bullies then maybe it is because you have let them become a target, However, the advice that has been given, and that is 'Report the Bullies' and 'Ignore Total Idiots' is good advice, and the best time to take that advice, and start regaining control of your life, is now.