Mississippi woman writes book to address bullying

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – How many times growing up did a sibling, cousin or classmate say something mean to you, and then say, ‘I’m just kidding?'” Words can sting, and they can stay with a child all their life.

One Madison woman, with a love for children and words, decided she needed to address bullying. Tina Lackey said when she was growing up, it was called “getting picked on,” and it hurt. In today’s times, it’s even worse.

“With the internet and cyber bullying, you are faceless, and you can say anything you want to without fear,” said Lackey. “I would hear story after story, after story of people having to put their children in different schools, that they would actually physically get hurt.”

After a lot of prayer, she sat down and wrote, “I’m Just Kidding.”

“Because that’s what we say. You say anything you want to someone, a child and children grow up to be adults, and you can say anything as harsh as you want to. And if you follow that up with, ‘just kidding,’ you think it’s ok, but it’s not.”

Lakey said words are like weapons.

“Once we fire them, we can’t retrieve them, and they leave a scar. That bullet has lodged in your heart, and even if you take it out and say, ‘I’m sorry,’ that scar is there forever.”

“I’m Just Kidding” was published at the end of 2019. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, getting the book to schools and libraries was put on hold, as were book festivals. It’s available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon.

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