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Excerpt for Let's Push: A Guide To Combat Bullying by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Let’s P.U.S.H
A Guide to Combat Bullying

Let’s P.U.S.H: A Guide to Combat Bullying

Copyright © 2019 by Shant’a Miller and 4-U-Nique Publishing

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For more information, Email 4-U-Nique@4-U-NiquePublishing.com

4-U-Nique Publishing books may be purchased for educational, business, or sales promotional use. For information, please email: info@4-U-Nique Publishing.com

First Edition

Contributing Writer: Sheila Taylor

Cover Design By: L. Whitfield

Photographs By: K’BANA BLAQ and Shant’a Miller

Illustrations by: Authentic DNA Studios and Shant’a Miller

Back Cover: Nicole Conway

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Dedication

I would like to dedicate this book to my Mom and Dad, my children Shantray, Iyana, and Keyana. A special thanks to my Brother A. DeShawn Simmons (Bubby). Also to my future leaders and legacy, my Grandchildren, TreShawn and Harmoni. A heavenly thank you to my Heavenly Angels (my Grandparents) Paul and Olivia Miller. Last, but not least, my Godfather Fred Henry.

My message to you all,

Always remember everyone has a story, it’s what you do with yours.

Love you all,

Shawnie



Special Thanks

Former First Lady Michelle Obama, United States Senator Mark Warner’s declaration, 5 (five) Mayoral Proclamations, Creative Director K’Bana Blaq, Cheryl “Coko” Clemens (lead singer of SWV) Parents Against Bullying VA Celebrity Ambassador, Authentic DNA, Show off Tees and Sports, The Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Peninsula, Office Max/Office Depot, Peninsula Town Center, George Addison, Hampton Roads Show, Wavy TV 10, Howard Gwynn of the Newport News Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, Melissa Harville-Lebron of E2 Northeast Motorsports Inc. WTKR News 3, ABC News 13, 97.3 The Eagle, 95.7 R&B, 103 Jamz, 5 Guys Burgers, United Way, Herr’s, Chipotle’s, PepsiCo, Pivot Dance Studio, Redink Radio Live, Refuge Nation Church and many others.

A special thanks to Hampton University, Christopher Newport University, Newport News Public Schools, Williamsburg Redevelopment and Housing, Williamsburg Human Services, the Hampton Police Department, Newport News Police Department as well as all of the volunteers who have given their valuable time, financial resources and expertise.

These partnerships, recognitions, and associations continue to grow and allow our message to be amplified!









Table of Contents

Dedication

Special thanks

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE Forced into a New Reality

CHAPTER TWO Everyone Has a Story But It’s What You Do With Yours

CHAPTER THREE Identifying the Problem: What is Bullying?

CHAPTER FOUR Creating a Livable Action Plan

CHAPTER FIVE More about Parents Against Bullying of Virginia

CHAPTER SIX Finding Additional Resources

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

4-U-Nique Publishing

INTRODUCTION

We all remember the life-altering occurrences in our lives, those events that have helped to shape us and change us. The ones we had to grow from. I mean reach way down deep and learn from. Whether it was something really good or something so terribly bad. Whether it made us laugh so hard that we cried. Or we cried so hard because of the pain in our hearts. We remember the day, the hour, and how we felt at that exact moment. My exact moment was filled with horror, dread, confusion, anger, disbelief, sadness and grief.

It took a total of seventeen minutes. My life as I knew it would never be the same. When I tell my story over and over again, I always start the same way.

Seventeen minutes does not seem like such a long time, but it was an eternity for one of my twin daughters on her ride home from school in September of 2012.

She was in the 6th grade then.

On her bus ride home, she was bullied and assaulted for 17 minutes. During those 17 minutes, my daughter was attacked by a fellow schoolmate. It is the official documented length of this horrible assault by a young female bully. Even now, I cannot reveal any of the details due to the ongoing legal process, but I will share what I can.

CHAPTER ONE
Forced into a New Reality

On this particular bright sunny day, I was waiting at the bus stop for my twin girls to return home. The bus was in view, but something was different today. I could hear loud voices and shouting as the bus came closer. The “bully” as I will call her, was hanging out of the bus window yelling at me. Her vulgar confession she made to me was that she had beat up one of my daughters.

As the bus stopped, I noticed that there was a substitute bus driver. My other twin daughter was the first off the bus, hyperventilating as she was trying to fill me in on what had happened. I tried to remain calm as my eyes searched for her sister. My other daughter, now the victim, staggered off the bus with ripped clothing and hair stuck up all over her head. I grabbed her tight, picked her up and carried her all the way home. I immediately contacted the school to report the incident. My daughter had a seizure that day. She had been seizure free for the last three years and was due to come off her medication very soon.

But for the next year of her life, she had seizures at least five days out of seven. As a result of the attack, it would take two more years to control it again. Seventeen minutes changed everything. It was the beginning of a new reality.

Had it not been for my faith, who knows where I would be right now?

This same baby girl of mine was born at seven months and put on life support. I was told that she may not live, but God had other plans for her. She was born a fighter. I would give anything to take back those seventeen minutes she endured at the hands of that bully.

A mother always wants to protect her child. I felt somehow responsible. If I had not let them ride the bus that day, would this have still happened? They have not ridden a school bus since that day in 2012. Since that day, I have chosen my children over all else. I have sacrificed, lost, been completely overwhelmed and tested beyond measure.

I was a hair salon owner. A successful business owner. My business and clientele declined. I had to leave customers in the chair when my child was in distress. My marriage ended. I have cried so many tears. Sometimes I walked alone, never knowing what the next day would bring. As I said before, the way my faith is set up, I choose not to ever give up!

I had to rejuvenate and reinvent myself. I redirected my life with a plan and a purpose. My children and I have overcome these obstacles and now we smile. Our tragedy is now my testimony. I found my voice. A voice not only for my children but for all children who have been victimized by bullies. My voice is not of a singular purpose. I also have aligned myself with the parents of these children who don’t know where to turn. I am sharing this knowledge that I have had to research and learn.

I had to study it and become my own investigative team so that this knowledge would become second nature to me as I maneuvered through the steps of the school system and legal proceedings. I want those parents to know their rights too.

My journey has not been an easy one, but each step is filled with passion and purpose. That in itself is rewarding for a girl like me who was born with her feet backward.

My first pair of shoes had bars attached one to the other. I needed them in order to stand up. Without those shoes, my feet would not have straightened out. I was about 2 years old before my feet were corrected. Once I started to move, it was hard to stop. I was in gymnastics, baton twirling in parades and a cheerleader. I still have those shoes. My Godfather, who always supports me, had saved them for me. After all this time, those little shoes can still push me to move.

My grandparents raised me. My mother was in and out of jail. I did not let that fact hinder my growth or progress. Our home was full of love and positive vibes. That is the life I knew and I was nurtured there. My brother and I could not have grown up in better surroundings. I always felt as if I had to take care of my little brother and that kept my focus clear. In that parental role, I knew I had to have a job and I knew I had to assist him with his education.


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