Reviews: Teaching Bullies: Zero Tolerance on the Court or in the Classroom

Excellent – Five Stars!
By Heather on August 10, 2015
Timely, thoughtful and extremely well-researched. A very compelling, readable book.

Two Thumbs Up!
By Gina Rolkowski on August 8, 2015
Most deep life altering wounds created by bullying often hide in the delicate developing brain of victims. This invisibility allows for “normalizing” the horrific act of bullying. In fact, it creates a space for the very word bullying to mask the truth that bullying = abuse. Imagining bullying/abuse from the child’s perspective: Who do I go to to help me when the very people who are supposed to help me are the ones hurting me? Sit with that…Teaching Bullies offers just that: a safe place to sit with the discomfort and awareness that bullying is indeed abuse and it must be stopped. Dr. Jennifer Fraser’s Teaching Bullies bravely begins with Fraser’s frustrating, firsthand appalling experience with her son’s coaches, the lack of response from school administrators all the way up through to the Ministry of Education, and moves into the unbelievable stories of the re-victimization of the boys who so courageously came forward. The message of awareness becomes clearer as she focuses on recent eye-opening brain research related to the physical impact bullying has on the teenage brain and offers specifics related to how to change this cycle by outlining specific skill sets for adults in the role of coaching. A must read for school leaders, policy makers, parents and coaches, Teaching Bullies transforms the horrific experience of 14 bullied boys into a powerful, hopeful call to action.

It’s time to Teach Bullies (especially Coaching Bullies & Teaching Bullies) that’s it’s NOT COOL, not to BE KIND!
By Living With Compassion on August 8, 2015
♥…as a former Professional Athlete, who played Baseball @Ucla, and had the Privilege of being mentored by Coach Wooden (*Ahem* Who won 10 National Championships, with only Love, Discipline, & Kindness), it hurts my Heart that young people are the recipients of emotional & physical violence, at the hands of those who have SO much influence & leverage over their Academic & Athletic careers! What Doctor Fraser lays out in ‘Teaching Bullies: Zero Tolerance On The Court’ is an amazing story of what happened to 14 Brave young Souls, who had the courage to (like Apple says) “Challenge The Status Quo”. She explains the particulars, and delves into the Psyche of the Athletes, of the Parents, of the Institutions (who collectively contribute to the culture), and even the Authors of violence, themselves! If you’re the recipient of perpetual hazing (aka bullying), you need this book! If you’re the Parent of a child in that situation, you need this book! If you’re a new Parent who wants the best for their Children, you need this book, and if you’re an Author of violence that wants a way out, you also need this book! Thank You Doctor Fraser for illustrating the challenges we face, sharing your personal story, offering Compassion, and delving into policy adaptations to address the issue of ‘Teaching Bullies’. May we all learn to #BeKindAndListe

Teaching Bullies is an important volume with potential to change the way that teachers and coaches function. — Steven R Shaw, Professor of Educational and Counselling Psychology at University of McGill.

Teaching Bullies offers ideas that could help us create a compelling counter-narrative in part by detailing, incident after sickening incident, what happens when teachers, coaches, and school administrators misuse masculine power. Teaching Bullies will encourage parents, educators, and community leaders who want to foster safe and inclusive school environments where all students can thrive, both socially and academically. Jennifer Margaret Fraser’s documented narrative is a powerful call to action that should galvanize us all to take a stand against homophobic bullying in our schools. — Barry MacDonald, founder of, and author of Boy Smarts: Mentoring Boys for Success at School, and Boys on Target: Raising Boys into Men of Courage and Compassion.

Bullying by teachers is a devastating problem that can leave long lasting and deep emotional scars on its victims. These innocent children are often re-victimized by schools that seek to hide or cover-up the abuse (and it is abuse) because these administrations would rather bury the scandal rather than face the embarrassment of what was done under their jurisdiction. For too long victims and their families have been either ignored, threatened or simply felt uncomfortable speaking out. That’s why Jennifer Fraser’s book is an important step forward in the battle to reclaim our schools for our children. We need to let victims know that their suffering matters and that they will be defended. — Stuart Chaifetz, parent advocate, Akian’s Dad

Boys model the messages they receive about becoming men. When adults inculcate homophobic attitudes among children, boys learn a binary trap: they can embody the traits associated with images of traditional masculinity, or they might be labelled “sissy,” “wuss,” “gay” in a pejorative way, or ruder words. Many boys feel pressured to become the biggest of wheels, the sturdiest of oaks, the most virulent repudiators of femininity. The link between machismo and violence can start early for boys pushed into a gender straitjacket.

Policy makers will find this book a useful introduction and guide to the reason for concern as well as to the literature and press on the issue in the North American and British context. Dr. Fraser uses her skill as a story-teller to draw the reader in with personal experiences but she keeps us there with research and strong analysis. This book should be an essential resource for any parent or educator seeking help in learning how to avoid the harm caused by teacher bullies. — Patricia Lane, lawyer and mediator

This is such an important conversation that must be had in the school system and in amateur sports. I was consistently taken aback at the ‘normalizing’ that happens when the bullying behaviours happen in sports. As you write, if you were to say these things as an English teacher, there would be no question about the repercussions. I found that same ‘normalizing’ in my research on blame. One of the many thoughts I had as I read through was how to support people to have this conversation. I think that there is an opportunity to develop conversation materials and a workshop to help schools, teams, coaches, parents, and most importantly students to understand how to have this conversation. I really look forward to further discussing this conversation which I believe may change coaching and sports in Canada. — Cheryl Mitchell, PhD, Redball Solutions

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