May 20th, 2011, 5:00 pm

Culinary Context: Bullying

When I wrote the last comic, I was merely making a general statement about bullying in the third panel. Around the same time, however my library had a display of anti-bullying books, including the one pictured above. After reading about Jodee Blanco fighting PTSD to talk to schools everywhere about bullying, I realized how true Lamode's statement was: no one deserves it, even at their worst.

I may have lost you now, gentle readers, because I am talking in abstract terms and we all know that "bullying" is wrong. Please let me switch to more concrete and specific examples:

Posting inappropriate pictures of people you know is humiliating and permanent for the person; you will also probably get suspended if you go to a private school. Posing as a teenager to insult your child's classmates online can lead to social ostracism and eternal infamy. Harassing someone in middle school will make them mistrustful and hateful. Yet we continue to do such things because we are careless.

Normally I wouldn't comment on an issue related to baking, but Please Stop Laughing at Us was the first book I read in which the author knows that ignoring a bully won't solve problems; neither will suspending or expelling them. Jodee Blanco offers actual solutions and strategies to help kids in trouble and give others a wake-up call. She also had to deal with her inner demons and traumatizing flashbacks when talking to students and readers. I've since learned that we are our own worst enemy, because we are the best at stopping ourselves from achieving things. If Jodee Blanco can brave PTSD while helping others, the rest of us have no excuse.

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