New anti-bullying book aims to empower both students and parents

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New anti-bullying book aims to empower both students and parents: Alicia Vitarelli reports during Action News at 4pm on August 17, 2018.

As students head back to school, there's an often unspoken topic that experts say is just as important as the essentials - Bullying.

A local doctor and author is tackling that topic for students of all ages and even just as important, she says: their parents.

Dr. Staci Schwartz's books connect parents and kids at storytime and get them to talk about bullying.

"I think what's important to realize is that it's not a normal right of passage. It's not something every child has to go through," she said. "The first book I wrote is called 'The New Bear On the Block' and it's about how you welcome a new person, how you don't judge people before you know them and how you make friends."

Then came "Billy the Badly Behaving Billy Goat."

"A lot of times the cure to bullying is to bully the bully and I wanted to write something different," she said.

In this book, the bully learns to change his ways. Her latest read, "I've Got Your Back: Help Children Say Hello to Friends and Goodbye to Bullies" is for older kids with often bigger problems.

"The idea is that you read this together it has stories it has activities," said Dr. Schwartz.

Because sometimes, those conversations can be hard.

"I think parents are really good at asking about grades - what did you get on spelling test? But we don't ask how they are feeling socially and emotionally how their feelings are who their friends are," said Dr. Schwartz.

She also says to mind their social media because today, bullying doesn't end at 3pm.

"Now it's 24/7 because the kids go home they go on social media and the bullying can continue straight through," said Dr. Schwartz.

This latest book is meant to empower kids and prepare parents to let them handle it

"If you're going in and taking over, you're not teaching your child to problem solve and become resilient. You're solving it for them," said Dr. Schwartz.

Councilman Alan Domb is purchasing 1,000 copies of Dr Schwartz's latest book to send to schools across the city as we start the new school year.

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