October is Bully Prevention month in the states and Metal Like Me was inspired by my time as a teacher. Growing up my school system had a 0 (zero) tolerance policy towards bullying and to be honest I thought that’s what the policy was when I started teaching.
In my third year of teacher I had a student who purposely got another with a speech impediment to talk just so he could laugh at the boys difficulties speaking. I immediately wrote it up as bullying because of the intent was solely to make fun of the boy’s speech. When I met with admin they said this wasn’t bullying. My state defines bullying as an act that displays power and occurs over a period of time.
Since it was the first offense and there is no power or control being established then the offender was just being a jerk. This didn’t keep me from documenting other instances and the writing of referrals but it brings aggravation. I was no stranger to writing referrals on issues that I saw as well as documenting and doing interventions with students, but its sad that it can take months to establishing bullying.
There are other instances that played into the writing of the book but that instance has always stayed with me. I think it is safe to say that bulling is a problem and most books on bullying are geared toward young children. I wanted a book that give a more realistic view of school for those a bit older than Pre-k through 1st.
Stayed tuned for the second part for more about Metal Like Me.