NY Times bestselling author to appear at Schubert Center speaker series on childhood adversity

Brian Sherman, Staff Reporter

Bullying is a powerful word to many students. From childhood to adulthood, all of us experience bullying in some form, whether as victims, bystanders or even as bullies.
New York Times bestselling author Emily Bazelon recently published a book that discussed this issue, titled “Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy.” She will appear at Wolstein Hall on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss her book and the process she went through to write it, with a book signing afterwards. The event will be free and open to the public, but will require online registration.
Bazelon, a senior research fellow at Yale Law School who has appeared on such shows as “The Colbert Report,” is well-known for her writing on the subject of bullying. She writes a regular column titled “Bull-E” for the online magazine Slate, where she is also a senior editor. One story in her column, titled “What Really Happened to Phoebe Prince?” was nominated for the 2011 Michael Kelly award.

“Sticks and Stones,” one of her more recent works, attracted the attention of Gabriella Celeste, director of child policy at the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University. Celeste, a lawyer, managed to connect with Bazelon, also a lawyer, through other lawyers she knew, which led to her scheduled appearance at CWRU.

“The Schubert Center is all about kids’ well-being,” said Celeste. “We are primarily concerned about the school life of kids, and this book struck a chord.”

In her book, Bazelon follows the lives of a few children as they live through bullying, using their experiences with bullying as a stepping stone to discuss the larger issue of how to effectively deal with bullying. She also includes resources in her book to help those who experience bullying.

“The book is good, but I’m more interested in the message of her book,” said Celeste, indicating its subtitle, “Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy.”

The Schubert Center was compelled to put on this event due to recent high-profile issues related to bullying. Here at CWRU, the center works to address issues, such as bullying, that commonly occur in schools. Their 2013-2014 conversation series, of which Bazelon is the first speaker, will put an emphasis on overcoming adversity in childhood.

“We want students to feel supported and safe, both in person and on the internet” said Celeste. “We want to encourage bystanders to create a feeling of acceptance among the students.”