Teen wise beyond her years in dealing with bullies
SEATTLE -- It's hard to talk about bullying, especially when you're the victim. But once kids meet their new heroine, the conversation is a little easier.
Dorie Witt is a fictional character, created by a typical teenager.
“I like working on engines and stuff, taking things apart,” said 15 year-old Brigitte Berman. “I’m in a robotics club.”
Okay, a not-so-typical teenager.
Brigitte is a teenage activist from near Boston. But it’s not the engine repair or robotics club that got our attention. This teen is an author, and she’s taken-on a topic many kids know all-too-well: bullying. But Brigitte's book “Dorie Witt’s Guide to Surviving Bullies” isn’t your typical story.
“There’s also Dorie’s analysis on how she should have handled the situation involving bullies at school or at the park,” Berman says.
And this teenager should know, she's been the victim of gossips.
“I kind of am a science geek who’s a little taller than the rest of my peers,” she confesses.
So, what did you do?
“I told the people to stop!”
Did it work?
“Well,” she concedes with a sigh, “like all teenage girls, sometimes it isn’t the end of things.”
But this "bully basher" doesn't give up. One of Dorie Witt's techniques is called "Group Correction."
“It’s when you get together with your friends, and confront the bully and say ‘You’re actions aren’t OK. Please stop this behavior,’ ” Berman instructs.
It's an insightful observation from a teen FOR teens. And then Dorie Witt...er...Brigitte...removes the veil on bullies.
“They (bullies) look for victims who are easy,” she begins. “So, if you and your friends firmly say, with no violence and no threats, stop picking on me, this is not okay, often times they’ll stop targeting you and move on to somebody else.”
It's easy to forget author Brigitte Berman is just 15.
“I am so excited. It’s a dream come true that I’m able to get this message out to people," she said.
You can find more information on author Brigitte Berman and her book “Dorie Witt’s Guide to Surviving Bullies” at www.doriewitt.com
Tuesday, June 18th 2013: Watching a sunrise from the ferry Tacoma sailing to Winslow from Seattle.