Bitopia is more than a fast-paced, epic adventure. The novel, about a bullied boy who figures out the secret to stopping the bullying, helps students understand a fundamental element of bullying—fear—and how to stop dominance aggression. Synopsis below.
Understanding Bullying is a great resource for both educators—principals, teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators—and students. The guide can also be used by parents to learn more about bullying and the ways they can support their children, whether targets or victims of bullying. More information below.
Updates in Progress as of 4/30/2014
My work developing a custom bullying prevention and reduction program for two Boston-area public schools will result in two new books, essentially a split of Understanding Bullying into a standalone educator guide and a student handbook. The educator guide will be updated with information that will allow schools to implement this new program, and the student guide will contain more illustrations in a comic type format and will include a new sections showing how adults can best support affected targets. Drafts of these books will be ready next fall as part of the program launch and will be updated based feedback and the metrics gathered from the program. The principles of the program will be based on the content of Understanding Bullying.
From the book jackets…
When you run from bullies, you never know where you might wind up…
Bitopia is a wonderland of fantastical foliage and mysterious creatures. It’s also a place where Venators lurk, vile creatures that relentlessly hunt children. So the children of Bitopia, the only human inhabitants, are forced to live in a high-walled city for protection, a medieval metropolis of cold and shadow where time passes but no one ages, a place of no escape.
Like all the other children of Bitopia, Stewart arrives there unexpectedly while fleeing from bullies. And, like all Newcomers, Stewart dreams of finding a way back home. Risking exile from the city and the protection that it offers, Stewart and Cora, his Finder, discover a clue to escaping, one that presents them with a terrible choice: face their greatest fear and risk death, or be trapped in Bitopia forever.
Understanding Bullying and Ways to Make It STOP!
An Education and Empowerment Toolkit for Educators and Students
Understanding Bullying and Ways to Make It STOP! has sections specific to educators and students: The first section describes key concepts, guiding principles, and a full spectrum of approaches that educators can implement based on available resources and student need to prevent and resolve bullying incidents, both dominance and relational aggression, at their schools. The second section provides students at the 4th– to 8th-grade levels with a complete education about bullying and describes a comprehensive set of approaches and techniques that they can use, with or without adult help, to prevent and stop bullying and create an environment of tolerance and respect. Each educational topic in the guide is accompanied by humorous illustrations and thought-provoking questions to reinforce the topic and relate the information to readers’ own bullying experiences. Students can study the topics on their own, and educators can use them in the classroom individually or as a complete course.
Dominance and Relational Aggression • The Who, What, Where, Why, and How of Bullying • Social Media and Bullying • Relationship Conflict and Conflict Resolution • Bullying Key Concepts
The “Tools”—Prevention, Mitigation, and Resolution Approaches
Foundational Education • Guiding Principles for Educators • Dominance Aggression Prevention and Mitigation Techniques for Students • Relational Aggression Prevention and Counteraction Techniques and Acceptance Perspectives for Students • Bystander Intervention (Direct and Indirect) • Student-Requested Adult Support Options • Non-Punitive Options for Dealing with Aggressors
Using the Tools—Implementation Options
Comprehensive Bullying Course • Topical Lessons on Bullying and Empowerment • Self-Study or Guided Self-Study • Guidance Counseling • Reference Manual for Educators
The guide can be paired with the novel Bitopia for a richer learning experience and can supplement existing bullying prevention and social emotional learning programs.
New Topics for the Third Edition of Understanding Bullying
Although the second edition of UB was only published this past September, the work on the book never ends. The following topics will be added to the third edition:
Educator Section: Four Groups to Focus on for Bullying Reduction. Parents, Educators, Bystanders, and Victims are the four groups of individuals in a school community who can make a difference in terms of reducing bullying incidents and helping victims. Parents can be provided information on key concepts and guiding principles, ways to recognize when a child is being bullied, and how best to help and support a bullied child. Educators can also be provided with key concepts and guiding principles and can also provide input into what strategies work best for their own classes. Bystanders, who can effect change in terms of behavioral norms within their peer groups as well as direct and indirect intervention in bullying episodes and campaigns, can be taught about bullying and asked to help make aggression an unacceptable behavior. Victims can also receive the education and can be taught techniques to render aggression ineffective. Parents can receive information in the form of a document or brochure sent home with all children. Educators can meet in groups as their schedule allows. Bystanders and Victims can receive information in class by class visits by an individual knowledgeable on the topics.
Student Section: 3.3 What is a Target and What is a Victim? Section will be updated to make a distinction between the fact that in dominance aggression, the target determines whether the aggression is bullying (by being affected by it) while in relational aggression, the target can be unaware of the aggression campaign for a period of time while damage to friendships is occurring. So the victims of relational aggression do not determine if the aggression is bullying; the effectiveness of the aggression-the damage to friendships-does.