A new anti-bullying book debuts in Buffalo Friday. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says it is a local book, authored by New York State Regent Catherine Collins of Buffalo.
“The book is Bullying: It's Elementary: Eve & Jessie story,” said Collins.
Regent Collins sat on a large wooden bench inside the hallway of the Arthur O' Eve School of Distinction to talk about writing her book. Collins was inspired by students at the school.
“It's about two young girls in the fourth grade and they happen to be at School 61 or Arthur O' Eve School of Distinction. It’s where I got part of the idea and the young people in that classroom asked me ‘how do you write a book?’, so I started telling them and said ‘what would you write a book about?’ and most of them wanted to write a book about Obama and I said – ‘why don’t you write a book about Obama?’ and I said – ‘no – there’s a lot of books about Obama out there, but there’s not that many books about bullying’ – maybe I’ll write a book about bullying,” Collins recalled.
“How is it stopped in the book?” asked Buckley. “Well I don’t give you too much – one of the things that we talked about in the book and one of the young women there, who’s being bullied – she said ‘well, why don’t we send the one who is bullying her to a bully camp?’ – has anyone ever thought of a bullying camp? Where you send children and they are worked with and psychologist work with them and there’s play and really friendship building – a bully camp – I’ve never heard of a bully camp, and so this is one of the things that we talk about in the book and we take you through how to resolve the issue,” replied Collins.
Collins tells WBFO News it took her about four years to prepare for the book. School 61-houses students in grades pre-K-through 4th grade, so the students who initially inspired the book have moved on to other schools. The 23-page book makes a point to parents to watch for the bullying that could begin at home.
“You have to stop bullying before it start and that’s basically what we’re saying in the book – because what I’m trying to do is get the message agrees – parents stop the kids from fighting one another at home because if someone’s beating up them, they’re going to go out and their going to try to hurt someone else. It’s just a natural reaction” declared Collins.
Buffalo school art teacher Lalaysha Noble supplied the illustrations for the book. Collins is hoping her book makes its way into Buffalo city schools.
Regent Collins will be signing her new book Friday at the Zawadi Books on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.