H-SANTA MARIA

Dec 25, 2012 2:00 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Local author tackles bullying issue through writing

Bullying is an ongoing issue, especially in schools. One local woman from Santa Maria found there are harmful effects of bullying, even beyond the student age. Connie Amarel had decided to combat bullying in the most creative way, by writing.

Amarel said the first time she was bullied was the 3rd grade.

"You feel like, you know, what's wrong with me, that I don't fit in," she said.

She said there was a boy named Jack, that got her through, because he came over to her and invited her over to play with the other kids.

Amarel said, "He totally stood up for me."

It was that boy named Jack who inspired who to become an author, a writer of children's books. Her latest publication is called "Gary Grasshopper Battles a Bully". She has since presented the book and donated a copy to the Santa Maria Public Library to be part of it's circulation.

Amarel said Gary is like her green bug protege. She said under his hard shell, he's filled with knowledge and he teaches children that they need to stand up for themselves, and realize that if they feel like they are being bullied, that it's not a reflection on who they are. Amarel said the lessons that can be learned from Gary Grasshopper, are not just for kids.

"You think when you reach a certain age, it [bullying] ends, but it doesn't, it's just sad," said Amarel.

But Amarel has also learned that there can always be a happy ending. She said there is lesson at the end of her book.

She said, "At the end of the story, the bully realizes, you know, everyone starts to walk away from the bully, everyone wants to hug Freddy Firefly and say they're sorry, and he starts to feel really bad, and he comes over and apologizes, and they all end up playing kick ball together."

A lesson learned, one page turn at a time.

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