The subject matter in this fictional story takes a serious look at the extremes that some teens and adults go through during painful experiences. It is not appropriate for children and even some adults who might be triggered by reading subjects covered in this book. . . (Foreword in “Crossing The Line”) – Alan Eisenberg
So, I wrote this book called “Crossing The Line”, which is about the extremes that bullying victims go to when they are broken by bullies. I want to break down the barriers that people find difficult to discuss in the issue of bullying, like suicide and school violence. The book will be coming out worldwide in winter of 2016-2017. It is my first foray into fiction and also a book that deals with these large issues as seen through the eyes of four teenagers that are going through the effects of bullying.
My publisher sent me a note about the book the other day as they prepare it for publishing. They are very happy with the book, but asked that I add a foreword about the content and also said that, without the changes, they would have to publish the book under a private label, meaning it would not see worldwide distribution.
Of course, I made the changes requested, so the book can reach as many hands as possible. I guess I understand where the publisher was coming from, but I am also worried that we can’t open up the conversation about people and particularly young people doing drastic acts like suicide and bringing weapons to school over bullying. I think it is so important that we face bullying head on and that is why I believe that recovery, as well as bullying prevention, is so important in the discussion. Recent studies, unfortunately, show that schools that have strong anti-bullying prevention actually have higher bullying rates.
Honestly, I know statistics can be read many ways. I have nothing against anti-bullying programs in schools, but think that schools sometimes see these programs as “check the box” items, saying they are actively addressing bullying statistically. But that removes the human element. As a bullying survivor, I feel I know the psychological effect bullying has on us and that we truly need to address the individual. We are so sad when a young child takes their life and leaves a note that it was bullying that caused it. We are so angry when a young individual goes into a school and uses a weapon, killing others. But are we addressing how this is happening?
That is what my book “Crossing The Line” is about. There may be four main characters in my story, but the effects of their actions or non-actions are felt throughout the community they live in. I believe it is such an important topic to face head on. Yes, it is difficult to face these issues, but I would hope that the story shares why these young people do what they do and what we need to address to stop about it. What do you think? How important is it to address the psychological damage of bullying to young people as soon as possible? I hope you’ll leave some feedback.