Leafwood Publishers published “Free Us From Bullying,” a book advocating against bullying in schools.
Paul T. Coughlin, who authored the book, said he has a passion for understanding and teaching about bullying. He often travels to different schools in the country to give presentations, speak in teaching programs and attend community events featuring the subject of bullying.
“Bullying is not a school problem,” Coughlin said. “It’s a cultural problem and the cultural factor to change is parenting. We need to change what we applaud and what we denounce in society.”
Coughlin applies his interpretation to the abuse of other people as entertainment on reality television. In addition, he recalled a recent event at Oklahoma Christian Academy, where “meanness” and related issues were discussed. More than 40 children attended and some of them presented apologies to those to whom they had previously mistreated.
Dr. Jason Fikes, director of ACU Press and Leafwood Publishers, decided to publish Coughlin’s book because he said he saw bullying as a critical national issue and wanted to curb the problem.
The book covers misconceptions of bullying, including the idea that bullying makes victims stronger, pedophilia in adults originates from abusive childhoods and bullies have low self-esteem. The last misconception was disproven in the 70s.
“I hope it’s something that can be of great help to our education majors as they think about how they want to handle bullying in their classrooms,” Fikes said. “I think it can certainly be a resource for everyone.”
“They’re not broken little doves,” Coughlin said. “They need humility.”
The book has gained influence since its publication. The National Christian School Association, a large educational province in San Antonio, wants Coughlin as their keynote speaker in March 2019. The Association of Christian Schools International, the largest Christian school organization in the world, also wants to bring in Coughlin.
Fikes said Coughlin is also the president of the non-profit anti-bullying organization called The Protectors, an official ministry partner of the Association of Christian Schools International.
“We’ve been hearing good feedback [about the book],” Fikes said.
“Free Us From Bullying” is available for checkout at the Brown Library.