Wadesboro Primary School students vowed to report bullying and to keep from bullying others after hearing from children’s book author Phyllis Brooks on March 1.
Brooks, a speech pathologist at the school and author of “Brandon the Bully Meets Nina-No More,” told the kids about her experience being bullied when she was younger.
She asked the children to report bullying to an adult, and encouraged those who thought they might be bullying someone else to check their behavior.
“If you think or know that you’re a bully, stop, okay?” she said. “Today. Stop. Stop.”
Each child was given a certificate after taking the pledge. Brooks also reviewed the acronym “BEGIN” with the children. “BEGIN” is a program Nina’s parents teach her in the story.
“‘B’ is for ‘believe in yourself,’” Brooks said. “‘E’ is for ‘empower.’ ‘G’ is for ‘get up and tell somebody.’ ‘I’ is for ‘initiate that conversation.’ ‘N’ is for ‘never give up.’”
Brooks said that vice-principal Fred Davis reported a bad bullying problem at the school, particularly among third- and fourth-grader girls.
“He said some are completely uncontrollable,” she said. “They’ve suspended one or two.”
The author has been traveling the country doing book signings, and sold out at one signing at a Barnes and Noble in Charlotte. She was on Fox News last November and will travel to New York for a radio show this month.
As busy as her schedule is, Brooks is working on a plan to further combat bullying in the school.
“I want to start a school newsletter to send home to parents about bullying,” she said. “I hope to start it in May for this summer, and then do it monthly in August.”
Brooks said that bullying can have broad effects.
“It can affect academics, whether they care to go to school, their physical well-being,” she said. “All of that can be affected.”
Paperback copies of “Brandon the Bully Meets Nina-No More” are available on Amazon, where it has four five-star reviews. According to the description, the book is aimed at children ages 4- 12.
Brooks is also the author of “Let Me Be Your Coach,” a motivational book geared toward young adults. A Kindle edition of that book is also available on Amazon, where it has three five-star reviews.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.