Vox Tablet

How (Not) To Stop a Bully

Emily Bazelon’s new book argues that bullying comes in different forms and so should its antidotes

February 19, 2013
(Illustration Tablet Magazine; original images Shutterstock)

(Illustration Tablet Magazine; original images Shutterstock)

When a bullying incident makes the news, a flurry of collective hand-wringing generally follows. We call for schools to be stricter, punishment to be harsher, kids to be kinder. But what have we actually learned about the dynamic of bullying and, more important, the most effective ways to prevent it? Slate writer and editor Emily Bazelon tackles these questions in a new book, Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. Bazelon has reported on bullying since 2009. In the book, she profiles three teens—two victims of bullying, and one who was accused of bullying—and then goes beyond to define what bullying is, and is not; what works, and what doesn’t, to interrupt a cycle of bullying; and what needs to be done to prevent a culture of bullying from taking hold in schools and online.

Bazelon speaks with Tablet Magazine’s Liel Leibovitz about bullying and the role schools, parents, Jewish values, and Mark Zuckerberg could play in stopping it. [Running time: 24:23]

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