Monday, February 27, 2012

the idea that your object of affection decides your sexuality

La Times Blogs: "It's funny because the way that kind of stuff is talked about on blogs is so black-and-white ... " Franco told Entertainment Weekly this week about his affinity for gay roles, and what that means regarding the longstanding tradition of questioning his sexuality." Is he straight or is he gay?' Or," he lamented, " 'This is your third gay movie -- come out already!" "And all based on, gay or straight, based on the idea that your object of affection decides your sexuality" (James Franco's 'Maybe I'm just gay' -- and why we love it).

James Edward Franco (born April 19, 1978) is an American actor, film director, screenwriter, film producer, author, painter and performance artist. He began acting during the late 1990s, appearing on the short-lived television series Freaks and Geeks and starring in several teen films. He achieved international fame with his portrayals of Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, drug dealer Saul Silver in Pineapple Express and Aron Ralston in 127 Hours. His other well known films include Milk, Tristan; Isolde, Flyboys, Date Night, Your Highness, Eat Pray Love and the upcoming Planet of the Apes reboot Rise of the Apes. He has been nominated for three Golden Globe awards, winning one, and received an Academy Award nomination for his work in 127 Hours (Wikipedia: James Franco).


Saturday, February 25, 2012

brought attention to prejudices

LA Times: Across that span of 21 seasons, Pedro Zamora -- of "The Real World: San Francisco" in 1994, during its third season -- has been by far the most successful user of the show. He hasn't had that much competition in recent years, to be fair: As the show aged, producers were more likely to emphasize drunken swimming pool hookups than socially mindful agendas. Zamora was an HIV-positive, Cuban American gay man who died of AIDS the day after the "San Francisco" season finale aired. The young HIV educator -- he was 22 when he died -- was always on message. He brought a scrapbook of his education work to show his cast mates, immediately lectured them on HIV transmission and took them along on his speaking gigs. And he and his boyfriend, Sean Sasser, had a tear-jerking commitment ceremony before the cameras. That anyone who saw that season's "Real World" cannot get Zamora's story out of their minds has led us to "Pedro," a biopic by MTV and "Real World" creators Bunim-Murray, directed by Nick Oceano -- and written by Dustin Lance Black of Oscar-winning "Milk" fame. It airs on MTV Wednesday at 8 p.m., although some members of Congress are getting a sneak-peek screening earlier in the day. That is how big Zamora was -- the film also includes a reenactment of then-President Clinton's phone call of appreciation to Zamora and his family. (On MTV, Clinton will introduce the film.) "Real World" producers own the story rights to cast members' lives during their period of filming, even beyond, apparently, death. But Bunim-Murray bought Zamora's life rights as well, and so the film spans events from Zamora's family's departure from Cuba to his sudden decline and death (Pedro Zamora: from 'Real World' to real legend).

Pedro Pablo Zamora (born Pedro Pablo Zamora y Díaz, February 29, 1972–November 11, 1994) was a Cuban-American AIDS educator and television personality. Zamora, who was openly gay and publicly discussed being HIV-positive, brought international attention to HIV/AIDS and LGBT issues and prejudices through his appearance on MTV's reality television series, The Real World: San Francisco. U.S. President Bill Clinton credited Zamora with personalizing and humanizing those living with HIV—especially to Latino communities—with his activism, including his testimony before Congress. His romantic relationship with Sean Sasser was also documented on the show with the two getting married on air; their relationship was later nominated by MTV viewers for "Favorite Love Story" award (Wikipedia: Pedro Zamora).


Thursday, February 23, 2012

this is my compass

Towleroad: I grew up in a very conservative Mormon military household in San Antonio, Texas. I knew from the age of six what people would call me if they ever discovered my “secret.” Faggot. Deviant. Sinner. I’d heard those words ever since I can remember. I knew that I was going to Hell. I was sure God did not love me. It was clear as day that I was “less than” the other kids, and that if anyone ever found out about my little secret, beyond suffering physical harm, I would surely bring great shame to my family. So I had two choices: to hide—to go on a Mormon mission, to get married and have a small Mormon family (eight to twelve kids)—or to do what I’d thought about many a time while daydreaming in Texas history class: take my own life. Thankfully, there weren’t enough pills (fun or otherwise) inside my Mormon mother’s medicine cabinet, so I pretended and I hid and I cried myself to sleep more Sabbath nights than I care to remember. Then, when I was twelve years old, I had a turn of luck. My mom remarried a Catholic Army soldier who had orders to ship out to Fort Ord in Salinas, California. There I discovered a new family, the theater and soon, San Francisco. That’s when it happened. I was almost fourteen when I heard a recording of a speech. It had been delivered on June 9, 1978, the same year my biological father had moved my family out to San Antonio. It was delivered by what I was told was an “out” gay man. His name was Harvey Milk (EXCLUSIVE: Milk Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black on Milk, 30 Years Later).

Dustin Lance Black (born 10 June 1974) is an American screenwriter, director, film and television producer, and LGBT rights activist. He has won two Writers Guild of America Awards for his work on the television series Big Love and an Academy Award for the 2008 film Milk. Black told the Daily Bruin that "You hear people say, 'This is my reason for being here. This is my compass.' For me, that's 'Milk.' I wanted to maybe inspire the younger generation to start becoming activists in a grassroots way. There's a lot of stuff that still needs changing not just gay rights (Wikipedia: Dustin Lance Black).


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

emphathy and acceptance

Radar Online: Although I was born in Alabama, I have no memory of it. I grew up all over America. I moved every two years of my life so I'm not really from anywhere. As I always say, I'm a little bit country, a little bit rock n roll. Being the new kid, especially the new kid with the effed up name no one could pronounce, I was mocked by many and I empathize with people of all ages who are struggling with accepting themselves. I participated in the "It Gets Better - Broadway" campaign (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: CSI Star Gerald McCullouch -- A Rebel With A Cause).

Gerald McCullouch (born March 30, 1967) is an American award-winning actor, director, screenwriter, and singer. McCullouch is best known for currently playing Bobby Dawson on the CBS television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In January 2009, McCullough was on the New York City subway when a man attempted to steal his laptop; McCullough, a trained boxer, successfully fought him off, even when the thief attempted to stab him with a kitchen knife. The thief was arrested by New York City police officers. McCullough is openly gay and has directed and starred in several gay-themed productions (Wikipedia: Gerald McCullouch).


Sunday, February 19, 2012

turned his life around

Brantford Expositor: Senior students at Assumption College got a wakeup call Thursday morning. It came from motivational speaker Paul Christie, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who "turned his life around" in 1999 and now travels across Ontario delivering his message at schools. His "Get Real" presentation detailed a struggle with addiction that started in Grade 8 and e next 30 years of his life, including jail time and attempted suicide. "His stories are real," said Assumption principal John Burroughs. "It's his life. He does not preach to the kids. He basically says, 'This is what happened to me, so you have a choice to make' (Addict helps students 'get real'). Misconceptions about addiction disorders abound. It is not poverty that causes chemical dependence; rather it is the addiction disorder, and the compulsive use of drugs (including alcohol) that in many cases cause the kind of crippling poverty seen in the DTES. Addiction is not just a phase of development, it is an illness. There is an enormous body of scientific/medical evidence which both identifies and describes substance dependence disorders as well as the treatment options that have proven effective in their treatment. All mood-altering substances disrupt the function of the central nervous system, the most evident manifestation of this disruption being intense euphoria. In addition to the change in mood, however, as drug use becomes compulsive, judgment and impulse control are impaired, moods become unstable, and the stress of day-to-day living becomes overwhelming (Drug addiction is Problem One).

Ledgehill: Alcoholism and alcohol abuse statistics reveal that in Canada an estimated 4 percent of the population over the age of 15 is dependent on alcohol. There are twice as many male alcoholics as female alcoholics. The highest rate of alcoholism occurs in Canadians between the ages of 20 and 24. In Canadian surveys, about 20% of the current and former drinkers stated that their alcoholic drinking negatively affected them, usually affecting their jobs or their finances. The problem of alcoholism can be seen from a variety of perspectives: biological (how alcohol affects the body), psychological (how it affects the mind) and sociological (how alcohol is provided and consumed in society) (Alcoholism in Canada).


Friday, February 17, 2012

dealing with negative criticism

Guardian: Three years ago, after relationships with both men and women, he met William Charles Pollock, who works at BBC 6 Music, by chance, at a Christmas party. It was "love at first sight". Wolf was at a low ebb, after touring relentlessly and experiencing bouts of depression that led him to contemplate quitting the music industry altogether. His songs at the time reflected his state of mind – melancholic and aggressive, with tortured, complex lyrics – and his performance persona became increasingly outrageous as he took to the stage dripping in feathers and spray-painted silver. But now that Wolf is engaged to be married, he seems to have rediscovered a sense of simple optimism. His next single, "The City", has already been hailed by the website Digital Spy as "four of the most joyous minutes you'll have this year with your clothes on". The accompanying video features a group of shiny, happy people paddling in the surf in Santa Monica. "I wanted nothing to feel artificial on this album at all," says Wolf. "I wanted to document my joy as naturally as possible… It was time to grow up and change." Later he adds, almost as an afterthought: "I can't lie about things. I find it very hard."

And it is true that Wolf seems to embody an unfettered innocence. He is at pains to express himself clearly in answer to questions, taking time to ensure that he has got his point across as honestly as possible and admitting: "I'd rather be embarrassingly open than embarrassingly guarded." Both his openness and his creativity stem from a "wonderful childhood", raised by an artist mother and a musician father in Clapham, south London, with regular holidays to visit his maternal grandparents in County Cork, who introduced him to WB Yeats and the Irish fiddle. "My childhood was full of fantasy," says Wolf, stirring his Bloody Mary with its celery stick. "Dad would only talk in fables or metaphor. It would be: 'Let's go find a pot of gold when there's a rainbow', not: 'Let's go kick a football.' It's in my blood to tell stories." When he was sent to a private, all-boys' secondary school in Wimbledon, he found it difficult to settle in and was badly bullied. "I was suddenly in a male, academic environment, in a place that preached competitiveness through sport and army training, and I was painting my toenails so that when I turned up, they'd send me home… I just wanted to be alone with my four-track. Solitude is one of my favourite things." Wolf spent his spare time making music and editing his fanzine. When, aged 14, he interviewed Minty, Leigh Bowery's art-rock group, he managed to persuade them to allow him to start playing the theremin on stage as part of the band. Wolf promptly dropped his real surname – Apps – in favour of something altogether more fabulous ("I wanted it to sound courageous," he explains) and was soon reinventing himself as a performer. When he was 15, Wolf's parents transferred him to Bedales, the progressive boarding school, and the bullying stopped; but he admits it has taken him several years, and psychotherapy, to deal with its impact. Negative criticism, he says, has lost its power to wound – "I'm not comfortable with it but I'm numbed to it" – and now he is keen to move on. "I find it quite strange thinking about myself as a teenager," he says. "It feels like a world away" (Patrick Wolf: 'It was time to grow up').

Patrick Wolf (born Patrick Denis Apps on 30 June 1983) is an English singer-songwriter from South London. Patrick utilises a wide variety of instruments in his music, most commonly the ukulele, piano and viola. Known for combining electronic sampling with classical instruments, Wolf's styles range from romantic folk to techno-pop (Wikipedia: Patrick Wolf).


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

be proud of you

Vancouver Sun: "I want to feel comfortable in my body, I don't want to deal with people asking me if I'm a guy or a girl," she says. "I tried so many times to be a boy, just to make other people happy. I'm concentrating on myself now." Shamai started dressing as a man, although never at his parents' home, but when his parents got separated, a few months before he turned 21, "they told me they didn't want to see me anymore," he says. "I left home, and decided to start transitioning. They couldn't understand it." Although other family members have told him that he is valued in their family life together, he has not been in contact with his parents for more than three years. "I still miss my family, around holidays or whatever," he says. "You want somebody to be proud of you. Family times I really want to call my mother and say, 'I have this great job, I have relationships.' "I realize I was never what my mother wanted me to be. I wanted to try to make her happy but I haven't had a chance to say, 'I'm not a girl but I'm still successful!'" (Gender identity crisis can be the beginning of a long, lonely journey).

A gender identity is the way in which an individual identifies with a gender category, for-example as being either female or male, or in some cases being neither. Basic gender identity is usually formed by age three and is extremely difficult to change after that. All societies have a set of gender categories that can serve as the basis of the formation of a social identity in relation to other members of society. In most societies there is a basic division between male and female genders, that are understood to be determined by biological sex, but in all societies some individuals do not identify with the gender that is otherwise associated with their biological sex. Some societies have so-called third gender categories which that can be used as a basis for a gender identity by persons who are uncomfortable with the gender that is usually associated with their sex (Wikipedia: Gender identity).


Monday, February 13, 2012

common occurrence for lgbt students

Miami Herald Typepad: Palm Coast, FL – The ACLU of Florida today announced an agreement in negotiations with the Flagler County School District in the case of Luke Herbert, a Flagler Palm Coast High School student who was harassed for being gay by both students and one of his teachers. Herbert, a 15-year-old freshman, had been bullied and threatened by fellow students at school and on Facebook and was physically attacked at school by another student who regularly taunted him with anti-gay slurs. Although Herbert reported several instances of bullying and harassment to school officials, the bullying and harassment got worse. “I reported the bullying to the administration but it never seemed to change anything. I felt alone and it made me stop wanting to go to school,” said Herbert. “My breaking point came when one of my teachers started telling anti-gay jokes and mocking me in front of the entire class.” As a result of being tormented by his peers and teacher, Herbert stopped attending classes and faced the possibility of failing the ninth grade. At that time, the ACLU of Florida intervened on Herbert’s behalf. “What happened to Luke is inexcusable, but unfortunately is an all-too-common occurrence for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students,” said ACLU of Florida LGBT Advocacy Project Attorney Shelbi Day. “Schools have an obligation to ensure that teachers and students understand that bullying and harassment of any student is prohibited and to act swiftly and appropriately to address it when it occurs” (ACLU reaches agreement with Flagler County Schools to address harassment of LGBT students).

Flaglerlive: Jokes about sexual orientation, like bullying over sexual orientation—which has led to a spate of killings in recent months (see the Ellen DeGeneres video below)—have yet to have the same level of inadmissibility as racial discrimination, even in law and regulations: it’s only late last year that the federal government abandoned its discriminatory don’t-ask-don’t-tell rule in the military, and many states, Florida among them, only recently enacted constitutional prohibitions on gay marriage. The state-sanctioned double standards have consequences: Luke’s case is not isolated. “It’s a big problem, really throughout Florida and across the United States,” Day said Thursday evening. “Kids who are bullied and harassed are done so at the highest rate based on sexual orientation, gender identity or physical characteristics.” Media attention over the last eight months or so, resulting from a string of gay teen suicides, has gotten more people’s attention. But, Day said, “it’s tragic that something like a child’s death has to occur before people start paying attention.” Luke’s actions set out other options “so that kids don’t feel so desperate so they turn to something like ending their own life.” Missteps aside, Day said, the school district finally “stepped up in a very meaningful way, we certainly applaud them for the comprehensive action that they’re committed to taking” (Bullying of Gay Student at FPC Leads to Teacher’s Public Apology and Policy Change).

OHRC: “Sexual orientation” is a personal characteristic that forms part of who you are. It covers the range of human sexuality from gay and lesbian, to bisexual and heterosexual orientations. Sexual orientation is different from gender identity, which is protected under the ground of "sex." (SEXUAL ORIENTATION: Your Rights and Responsibilities).

Saturday, February 11, 2012

make the world a better place

Daily Targum: As an actress, director and writer with more than 20 years of professional theater experience, Scooter said she worked with teens across the nation on self-acceptance, inclusion and self-love. "My dedication has been to live theater because I believe in the power of human contact," Scooter said. Drawing on her experiences as a young child growing up in Washington, D.C., and experiences of those she worked with, the play will address how bullying starts, its results and stories of triumph and personal accomplishment. As a child, Scooter said she was called ugly and stupid in school, witnessing first-hand the detrimental effects bullying can have on young people. "As I got older, I learned that if you looked a certain way you could get away with not being bullied," she said. "That didn't seem fair." Scooter's 11-year-old daughter is reaching the age where bullying and teasing are common behaviors in schools. When her daughter became aware of the effects of bullying, Scooter, a lesbian single mom, said she was compelled to reach out to young individuals and help them understand how much power they have to make their world a better place (Alumna tackles bullying with one-woman act).

CD Universe: Pandora Scooter is a performing poet and spoken-word artist with a pro-woman/pro-human/pro-dyke flair. For her breath, Pandora prefers the titles rhythmic ranter, rhymescape philosopher, mother, and human rights activist (Pandora Scooter - Carpe Dyke CD).


Thursday, February 9, 2012

overcoming adversity and accepting others

Lockport Journal Ron Bachman is on a mission. And that mission has brought him to Niagara County this week starting with Barker on Monday. Bachman is a national motivational speaker who visits schools and organizations talking about overcoming adversity, accepting others and bullying in schools. Bachman’s journey around the country has brought him to the area all this week, with his first two stops being Lyndonville and Barker school districts Monday. Bachman said he feels he has some credibility when it comes to talking about overcoming adversity and accepting others. Having his legs amputated as a young child, Bachman moves around with the help of a custom designed scooter. As a result, Bachman has experienced strange looks and cruel remarks (Speaker Ron Bachman brings anti-bullying message to area).

Journal Times: Bachman, of Plymouth, Mich., has been speaking since the late 1990s but stepped up his speaking engagements after the school shooting at Columbine High School. "Every couple months we hear about another school shooting," he said. "It always falls on one word: Bullied." To stop bullying and hopefully stop school violence before it happens, Bachman travels the country telling students what can happen when they open their mouths. "You can cause kids to drop out of school, to hurt themselves," he said, telling students Monday that it takes just as much effort to say "I love you" as it does to say "I hate you," and that those words are often shown more through actions. "You don't actually say it but you do it when you push them around and tease them" (Learning that words can hurt).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Caleb’s activism

Your West Valley: A Surprise teen who dropped out of school due to incessant bullying because of his sexual orientation was one of many speakers last week during a teleconference with President Barack Obama that hoped to shed light on ways to make schools safer. The White House Conference on Bullying Prevention brought together educators, experts, politicians and bullied teens — parents represented some teens who had taken their lives because of the incessant ridicule — to shed light on how the issue affects families and communities (Surprise teen speaks to Obama on bullying).

ishouldbelaughing.blogspot: Caleb's activism was successful at his own school, where policies were changed in his district as a result of his own experiences with bullying. At Willow Canyon High School, Caleb endured harassment almost daily--he was shoved into lockers and received text messages with anti-gay slurs--and believed district officials should have done more to stop it. In March, 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona offered to represent Caleb in a potential lawsuit against Dysart Unified School District, but the district soon revised its student handbook to include language prohibiting bullying of LGBTQ students. Now Caleb hopes to reach out to every school, and every student in Arizona. With the help of a friend, Casey Cameron, Caleb hopes his group can provide more services for LGBTQ youth, such as counselors and a homeless shelter. But he said he is "absolutely" ready to initiate a lawsuit in specific situations: a suicide or attempted suicide because of bullying, expressions of hate from teachers or administrators, and inadequate punishment for bullying (Caleb Laieski: Standing Up, Fighting Back).


Sunday, February 5, 2012

designed to break

Guardian: It is now nearly a decade since 9/11, and in the aftermath of that atrocity the US "lost a little of its greatness", in the words of one courageous military lawyer, David Frakt. Mr Frakt was protesting to a military commission of "the pointless and sadistic treatment of … a suicidal teenager", a Guantanamo inmate put in solitary, then systematically sleep-deprived by being shifted from cell to cell every couple of hours. There was at least the ghost of an excuse for bullying and sometimes torturing Arab and Afghan "combatants". It was done in the name of saving American lives. There is no such need for the cruel mistreatment now reported as being practised on one of their own, the diminutive US private Bradley Manning. Yet when Hilary Clinton's spokesman, PJ Crowley, wisely pointed this out – calling the treatment "counterproductive and stupid" – he had to resign. Mr Manning is accused of giving Wikileaks the video of a helicopter killing civilians in Baghdad, the logs documenting disasters of war in Afghanistan, and the 250,000 diplomatic cables which have shed such a dramatic light on world affairs. As a result, Mr Manning is made to stand naked outside his cell this morning, and apparently on all future mornings. This is the culmination of a punitive regime which has gone on for 10 months under which, although untried and unconvicted, he is not allowed to sleep or exercise in his cell during the day, is denied any personal possessions and is barred from conversing with the guards. Every five minutes he is required to answer that he is fit and, if he turns his face away while asleep, he is immediately forcibly woken up. In an Orwellian trick, this is dubbed "prevention of injury" for his own protection. When Manning finally protested, sarcastically, that he could no doubt injure himself with the boxer shorts which are all that he is left with at night, the boxer shorts, too, were taken away. This regime of near-torture is perhaps designed to break him, in the hope he will incriminate WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange and other associates on some conspiracy charge. Yet is that sensible? (Bradley Manning: Cruel and unusual).

Bradley E. Manning (born December 17, 1987) is a United States Army soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified information to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. He was charged in July that year with transferring classified data onto his personal computer, and communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source between November 19, 2009, and May 27, 2010. An additional 22 charges were preferred in March 2011, including "aiding the enemy," a capital offense, though prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty. He is currently awaiting a hearing to decide whether he will face a court martial (Wikipedia: Bradley Manning).


Friday, February 3, 2012

what goes around

MOB: Have you heard of Plug In Stereo? In an industry where everyone is trying the latest and greatest with production, it’s a breath of fresh air to see someone playing an acoustic guitar and singing indie pop music that isn’t being pushed for the tween age. We were lucky to catch up with Trevor Dahl, who is Plug In Stereo while on a tour stop in Baltimore where he recorded this anti bullying PSA for us (Trevor Dahl of Plug In Stereo Speaks Up About Bullying).

Inspirations for writing lyrics: "There’s this one song called What Goes Around. It’s all about negative people who are always trying to bring you down – especially with what I’m doing. It’s specifically about this one guy – he called me up when he was drunk. I used to be friends with him, and then he called me up and he hate on everything about me – from my family to my music – everything! That night, I was like, “You know, fuck you! I’m pissed off!” So I wrote a song about it. And then another song that really meant a lot to me – my best friend’s Mom passed away a little while ago, so I wrote a lot about that. It’s not about me – it sounds like it’s about me, but I wrote it through his perspective. It’s definitely deep and it was pretty sad and hard to record, but it meant a lot to me. It’s called Thursday." (Meet Trevor Dahl of Plug In Stereo)

Trevor Dahl aka Plug In Stereo, 17 years old, is looking to follow in the footsteps of Never Shout Never and The Ready Set with sweet, sophisticated teen pop created by a young musician who writes, sings, and plays multiple instruments. Among his key influences are John Mayer, The Shins, Jason Mraz, Bob Marley and Taylor Swift. Plug In Stereo is currently performing with The Scene Aesthetic, He Is We, and Carter Hulsey in the Love Is All Around Us concert tour. He will be joining the Ready Set on the Glamour Kills tour in late March. A first album from Plug In Stereo titled Nothing To Something is set to hit stores April 12, 2011. Trevor Dahl says about his goals, "Right now, the only thing I want in life is for people to hear my music. I grew up playing in bands, but was tired of the fake, closed-minded attitudes that a lot of kids my age shared. I always had my solo/acoustic music on the side, so as I got older, my style and sound changed to a more honest and organic approach." For now check out music from Plug In Stereo below particularly the current single "Oh Darling" featuring fellow upcoming artist Cady Groves (Artist In the Wings - Plug In Stereo).


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

BOOK: Anthony Carnovale's "In Full Uniform"

In 2006 Carnovale released ‘In Full Uniform’. Though the main character’s name is Jesse, the book tells Greg’s story and is dedicated to the teen. “I knew it was a good story. The initial response was absolutely fantastic, but I didn’t want it to go to my head too much,” said Carnovale, noting that initially those he heard feedback from were friends, students, and those who had known Greg – a bit of a biased bunch. But then, after a large series in a national daily newspaper, response started coming in from strangers across the country. The book is standard reading for staff of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board and is available in school libraries across the Board. Due to popular demand, it was re-released at the end of 2010 and is now available on and “They all know how it ends… the story is how he got there,” Carnovale explained. Different people will interpret literature in different ways, and the librarian thinks that sometimes readers miss his most important take away message. It’s not that kids can be mean, although they can be. It’s that people can be mean, and that adults need to acknowledge and deal with their own role as bullies (Bolton teacher tackles bullying in book).


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Bullying is an abusive treatment, the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when habitual and involving an imbalance of power. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed persistently towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability. The "imbalance of power" may be social power and/or physical power. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a "targeted individual" (Wikipedia).