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Kids told of ways to help weaken bullying

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POSTED July 29, 2013 12:25 a.m.


Karen Arnpriester recalled being bullied in fifth grade.

The author and guest speaker at the FUN Club Program Friday was the new girl with a West Virginia drawl, a funny last name – her maiden name was Slimick – and a bad hair perm.

“Before fifth grade, life was good to me,” Arnpriester told the room-full of FUN Club members. “But then we moved to a ritzy area.

“I was the victim of extreme bullying.”

She’s a self-taught graphic designer and has penned two novels. Her first, “Anessia’s Quest” is about a young girl living in foster care while leaning on her guardian angel. She began writing as a hobby but soon found a following that initially started out with friends.

Arnpriester released “Raider’s Vendetta” in 2011. This psychological thriller involves a bank robber and his hostage, Charley.

Her third book will address bullying.

Posted on the walls of the FUN Club Program is a “Bully-free Zone” sign. Rev Quincy McClain, who is the co-founder of this non-profit group consisting of students ages 6 through 17, noted that July is ‘Empowerment Month.’

Part of that empowerment is to stop the bullying.

 “Many kids think bullies are strong, but who has the real power?” Arnpriester asked.

She noted that there are few bullies but, just as bad, large groups of kids who stand by and watch without doing anything.

Arnpriester demonstrated ways for youngsters to show power in numbers by standing united as a group to make positive changes.

“We will not remain silent and allow ourselves to be victims,” she said. “We will protect each other.”

 She recalled attending school in the Bay Area community of Dublin, where, from fifth through ninth grades, she was constantly bullied.

“I ate lunch alone and did recess alone,” Arnpriester said.

Buster was the big bully in school while Ann, who was among the popular students at school, became her friend but only outside of school.

She also remembered a sickly kid named Doug, who also bullied. But that changed when Bob, who was physically bigger than the other students, arrived at her school and soon became Doug’s protector.

Arnpriester asked her young audience: “Do you want to be like Ann, who sees a problem, feels bad, but doesn’t do anything. Or Bob, who sees the problem and isn’t afraid to stand up to make things better?”

 In addition, she provided the following tips for youngsters, who will soon return to the classroom, on being bullied:

•  Always tell a teacher, counselor or principal.

•  Always tell your parents and be honest as to what’s happening in school.

•  Do your best to ignore bullies, especially if they’re just using words.

•  Ask your friends to stand with you for support.

•  If a bully is physically hurting you, don’t ignore them but, rather, report the incident to a trusted adult.

•  Do not believe in the bad things a bully might say.

Arnpriester encouraged youngsters to get involved in an anti-bullying program at their school.

She believes it’s important to treat every person with respect.



For more information, contact Arnpriester at bulliesrequireapathy@aol.com.

To reach reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail vrembulat@mantecabulletin.com.


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