Tammy Simpson is an anti-bullying advocate and the founder of the Brandon Bitner Memorial Scholarship Fund. Glen Retief’s memoir about bullying, “The Jack Bank,” won a 2011 Lambda Literary Award. Retief teaches creative nonfiction at Susquehanna University.
This is their first piece for the AJC:
By Tammy Simpson and Glen Retief
As our kids settle in for the second half of the school year, spare a thought for this number: 160,000. That’s the estimated number of American students who will stay at home every day this semester due to fear of being bullied.
Americans spent much of December transfixed by images of elementary school gun violence. However, the fact is that the average student is infinitely more likely to be bullied than shot by a lunatic. Bullying — which can, of course, include gun violence, especially in rough neighborhoods — is the routine risk that can shake loose the foundations of children’s security.
Once, parents typically reacted to a disclosure that their