Here is a bit of my talk for the book launch
February 19, 2020 1 – 3:30 pm Author talk at Mannville School, Mannville, Alberta
February 20, 2020 6:30 – 7:30 pm Official Book Launch and author talk at Vermilion Public Library, Vermilion, Alberta
February 27, 2020 1 – 3:30 pm Author talk at St. Jerome’s School, Vermilion, Alberta
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: Why did you write the book?
I was advised to write about what I know, and if there is one thing that I know about, it’s school life and the world of school bullies, being a veteran teacher of 35 years.
During my career, I’ve dealt with many school yard bullies and comforted many victims of bullies. During those years, I often considered bullies to be “bad” kids who needed a good dose of discipline. Having learned about bullies over the years, I now see bullies differently. Simply put, bullies are hurting people who hurt others, so I wrote my story with this understanding.
I see so many politicians and governments who bully to get what they want, and I regularly hear about bullying in the workplace. I read in the news of students who commit suicide, or who take their pain out on others by carrying out school shootings. Our world needs to get a handle on bullying and to look at bullies differently. Bullies can heal and change if their pain is addressed, and they feel heard.
Q: What makes your book different from others?
Conflicts and challenges could more easily be resolved if people were able to see things from other people’s viewpoints. My book provides multiple perspectives on issues teens face, including the viewpoints of an average teenager, their parents, their teachers, and the principal.
My book, A Shattered New Start, also uses a unique approach to dealing with bullies. Most schools deal with bullying with a punitive punishment approach. Typically, the aim of punitive approaches is either to punish the offender or satisfy feelings of revenge. The bully in my story undergoes a restorative justice (some may call it a form of healing circle) approach. The bully, Ryan, faces his victims, endures their wrath, and shares in the process with his victims in determining his consequences for bullying.
A Shattered New Start shows the human side of bullies. Bullies are really hurting people who take their pain out on others. As the old adage says, “hurting people hurt people.”
Q: What genre is your book?
A Shattered New Start is for young adults (YA), namely junior and senior high school aged children, but the book appeals to anyone who has been victimized by a bully which is most of us. Parents of bullied children could also relate to this story, as well as readers interested in an educational book on bullying. Any educator and professional who advocates for anti-bullying could use this story as a teaching tool.