P2P healing in cyberbullying case

We hear so much in the news about teen meanness and harassment toward each other online that it's quite amazing to find a national story about kindness. In the case of Olivia Gardner, the kindness came from two sisters in a nearby town, Sarah and Emily Buder in Mill Valley, Calif., who read in the newspaper about how Olivia was being bullied and wanted to help, they say in their MySpace video. The in-school bullying of Olivia started, unbelievably, after she had an epileptic seizure. "Then someone started an 'Olivia Haters Club' on the Internet with pornographic emails," MSNBC reports. Her mother couldn't help – she told MSNBC that no words of comfort helped. It was thousands of letters, starting with messages of support from Sarah and Emily, that started Olivia on the road back from near-daily suicidal thoughts to healing. The letters came from all over the countries, not only with messages of love and support but also stories of how the writers too had been bullied. The result of all this is a new book from HarperCollins, Letters to a Bullied Girl: Messages of Healing and Hope, by Olivia Gardner, Emily Buder, and Sarah Buder. [For experts' advice on the online kind of bullying, see the books Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age, by Patricia Agatston, Susan Limber, and Robin Kowalski, and Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats, by Nancy Willard, and a book coming out this month: Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying, by Profs. Sameer Hinduja and Justin Patchin.]

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