Dorseyville Elementary student praised by Sheriff Stassi for writing, publishing anti-bullying book
Bullying has become much more prevalent—and easier for the bullies—with the proliferation of social media, all providing bullies with the means to harass others.
And that hurts children more than anyone, says Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi.
The sheriff, who speaks to students across the parish about bullying every chance he gets, was impressed when local fourth grader Marcayah Carter wrote an anti-bullying book, “Don’t be a Bully: Love Always.”
“It’s a breath of fresh air to have a young child who has experienced bullying to write a book at such a young age, so that other people might be able to avoid some of the bad things that happened to her,” Stassi said.
Carter was recently prescribed glasses and picked a pair in her favorite color, green. Students at her school soon began bullying the 9-year-old.
“Others can read it and understand that they’re not alone,” Stassi said. “They can also see there are people out there to help them.”
Carter came to the Iberville Parish Courthouse to meet the sheriff, knowing how strongly he opposed bullying, but missed him. Stassi immediately trying to get in touch with her when he found out.
“I reached out to her parents and told them I would like to meet her,” he said.
After hearing her explain her story, Stassi asked Carter how many copies of the book she had left—nine was her response.
“I said, ‘I’ll buy them all,’” he said. “I’m going to deliver one to the libraries in each school in Iberville Parish.”
Stassi said Carter plans another printing and it’s likely he’ll buy more books.
“From a law enforcement point of view, this is something that’s near and dear to my heart,” he said. “I go out and talk to all these young kids and I try to tell them about bullying and standing up for your friends.”
“Even if it’s one of your closest friends who are doing the bullying, you need to say something,” Stassi said.
He said children of all ages are under much more pressure from bullying because of the anonymity bullies can get through social media.
“We underestimate the amount of stress that these young people are under these days,” Stassi said. “We need to really keep our guard up and help these young people who are going through this.”
The sheriff said he believes Carter’s book is a big step locally in the right direction to support the victims of bullying.