Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy, is the author of this post. Find out more about her at the bottom of this post.
Over the last few months, I've had the great fortune to talk to many students who have read my book, Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. I met with 100 seventh graders at a New York public school who wanted to know how the main characters in the book are doing now. A class of charter school students in New Haven puzzled through with me the choices principals and parents in the book made, thinking about how they could have done better. And at a Denver private school, middle schoolers asked about the role law and media coverage played in the stories I tell.
All of this inspired me to produce a teacher's guide for my book, to help students read and analyze it as journalistic non-fiction (in line with the expectations of the Common Core). The book’s exploration of the many issues of kids social lives—on line and in person—engages students in complex moral questions , about the actions of teens who bully, bystanders, and upstanders, and about the actions of parents and schools. These are issues with direct relevance to many students’ lives.
The creator of the guide is Meredith Gavrin, the teacher who invited me to talk to her New Haven class. Meredith is the Program Director of New Haven Academy, a public inter-district magnet school that she co-founded with her husband, Greg Baldwin, in 2003. Her school is part of a network served by Facing History and Ourselves, an organization that encourages educators to teach civic responsibility, tolerance, and social action to young people as a way of fostering moral adulthood. Meredith has done an amazing job pulling in Facing History materials, and using my book to spark far-ranging discussions that connect students’ experiences to deep questions about law, technology, individual responsibility, and community.
The teacher's guide for Sticks and Stones will be available shortly as a free online resource for teachers, parents, and community groups. Please email [email protected] to request a copy, to be mailed to you as soon as it's ready!
Emily Bazelon is the author of the book Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. She is a senior editor at Slate, a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, and the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School. She is also a frequent guest on the Colbert Report and has appeared on the PBS NewsHour, Morning Joe, Fresh Air, Morning Edition and All Things Considered.