Ohiopyle native writes book on anti-bullying
By Rachel Basinger
Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Ohiopyle native and anti-bullying advocate Robert Hensley visited Carnegie Free Library this week, where he shared his recently published novella “Leo's Love Story.”
The novella's story shows how a young boy tries to deal with being gay and being bullied.
In part, he said, the book is based on his experiences of being bullied when he was a child.
“Bullying is an epidemic in our time,” he said. “I felt, as I really began to develop the characters in the book, that I kind of understood Leo the best.
“He felt that he was an outsider,” Hensley explained. “I shared Leo's thought that I could run away and everything would get better.”
In the end, it's the concept that when you've been bullied, you can either come out stronger or weaker.
“You have to make a decision at some point whether you're going to let it affect you or change you,” the author said.
Hensley lives in Los Angeles. He is a Hollywood makeup artist, producer and author, and has contacts in the entertainment world. He is involved in two different groups that focus on the effects of bullying.
Through some of his clients, Hensley has become involved with Cartoon Network's “Stop Bullying — Speak Up” campaign, as well as save.org, which tries to eliminate suicide as an option for victims of bullying.
Hensley cited several reasons a person is bullied — gender identity, sexuality, poverty, race, religion and weight.
“A lot of times it's issues that the student has no control over,” he said.
Hensley said bullying is the fourth main cause of death in children ages 10 to 14 in the United States. A child is bullied every seven minutes.
He said 160,000 students stay home to avoid being bullied, and 13 million students every year have experienced bullying. One in seven children is a bully.
“These numbers are dismal, and this is something that really does have to stop,” Hensley said.
Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rural King farm supply store confirms move to Laurel Mall
- CASD plans Fitness and Wellness Fair in April
- Connellsville Area School District may refinance bonds in effort to save $200,000
- Connellsville junior ROTC program a training ground
- FAA pushes for upgrades to Fayette airport
- Mother tells court about how boyfriend beat son in Fayette County case
- Geibel 3-sport star enjoys tapping onstage
- Hibbs woman sentenced to prison for child abuse
- Addison gemologist has keen eye for ‘wearable art’
- Geibel musical director enjoys ‘group of very talented dancers’
- WVU students aim for billiards record to help Make-A-Wish