Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Warm Welcome

A few weeks ago, my good friend Karen Bessey Pease let me read her magnificent YA novel, Grumble Bluff. The messages and themes in Karen's novel really struck a chord with me, and after searching within myself I came to realise that Karen and I share a common view on the subject of bullying.

My loathing for that type of behaviour stems from personal experience as a youngster in school, but also from stories my mother related to me, of what life was like growing up in a small village in Perthshire during the Second World War. Times were tough, thanks to food rationing and the influx of school children from Glasgow and Edinburgh. But for my mother things were even tougher. She was the eldest of a fairly large family, and two of her younger sisters were born with learning difficulties. That made them 'different' and they soon became targets for the school's bullies. Of course, as the eldest, my mother had to stick up for her little sisters.

So, having established a common bond, Karen suggested that she, and some of her friends who also have an interest in the subject, should write a column or two for the Down Under Dunder, and I'm delighted to say that very soon I'll be extending a warm welcome to Karen, to Lynne Kenney, PsyD - author of the forthcoming book The Family Coach Method - and (hopefully) many other writers who can offer support or links to online resources.

If we can ease the pain of being bullied for even just one child, it's a start.


  1. A big thumbs up, Jack and Karen, on highlighting this issue. It's definitely one of global concern and can be a cycle that repeats through the generations.

  2. Many thanks for your comment and support, Gemi. You're absolutely right - breaking the cycle is the key, I think, and that comes down to a combination of factors: responsible parenting; leadership in the field by school management; and a heightening of social awareness of the issue, and its potentially life-destroying implications.