TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Ohiopyle native writes book on anti-bullying

Rachel Basinger | For the Daily Courier
Ohiopyle native Robert Hensley discusses his book, 'Leo's Love Story' during a program at the Carnegie Free Library in Connellsville this week.

Daily Photo Galleries

By Rachel Basinger
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

Most-Read Fayette

  1. Security tightened at Fayette courthouse; Westmoreland says its procedures are sufficient
  2. Motorcyclist listed as fair after Fayette County crash
  3. Lynn: Frazier to offer kindergarten readiness classes
  4. Dunbar Twp. man held for trial in DUI fatality
  5. Fayette County Fair up and running
  6. Pennsylvania State VFW Post 8543 Band continues to grow
  7. Residents plan town-hall style meeting on Connellsville’s proposed abandoned building ordinance
  8. Fayette fair queen, princess are crowned
  9. ‘Hairspray’ coming to State Theatre in Uniontown
  10. Longtime Fayette County Fair volunteer Herring honored as ‘ambassador’
  11. Calvary United Methodist Church to hold 7th annual Gospel Sing
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.