The original release came as a profound shock and prompted positive and immediate action by governments, education authorities, schools and citizen groups around the world. It spawned countless other books, scholarly studies and papers and media campaigns, inspired plays and movies.
So I considered its job done and resisted requests for re-release when it went out of print. But there's been such high demand that I decided to re-think that decision.
The re-release is NOT an update, more a history lesson and a reminder of just how shamfully secret the bullycide epidemic had been up to the end of the last century and publication of the exposé.
As I re-read the original, added a new introduction and proof read, the tears flowed just as freely as when I investigated the unacknowledged problem and wrote the words all those years ago. Memories came rushing back of the shattered families I’d spoken to (most still in a state of shock); of children who could speak only from the grave, having chosen in their pain and desperation to make their statements through a last, desperate action: the chilling statement that life for them was a fate worse than death.
The re-release is timed to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the first release of Bullycide: Death at Playtime and the word 'bullycide' entering the vocabulary, and also with the fifth anniversary of the death of my dear friend, co-author and tireless anti-bullying campaigner to the end, Tim Field.
May kids everywhere have a happy Christmas and a bully-free New Year as we enter the second decade of, hopefully, a more enlightened century.