Local author Gail Morin aims to create awareness and keep kids safe online with her new book on cyberbullying
“Super Alert Dog: Adventures on Bullying” by Gail Morin is a children’s picture book about a normal dog that goes from man’s-best-friend to superhero—cape and all!—when he gets an alert that a child is being bullied online.
Morin uses fun adventures and lessons on friendship and manners to teach readers from daycare to middle school ages about this important topic.
Morin, a former teacher and daycare worker, says that bullying starts at a young age and that discussing the topic early on lessens the chances of them bullying or being bullied.
“Teachers and parents, as well as social workers, can use this book as a tool to teach kids about cyberbullying and the harmful effects,” says Morin. “It is a good conversation starter to ask them if they have ever been bullied.”
Cyberbullying is bullying or harassment that takes place digitally, using devices such as cellphones, computers or tablets.
“So much of our lives are lived out on social media,” says Morin, who suggests parents monitor their kids’ and teens’ online activities. Social media, texting apps, email, and gaming communities are all avenues cyberbullies use to harass their victims.
Cyberbullying includes but is not limited to the sending of mean or negative messages, spreading rumors, sharing personal information in an attempt to humiliate or anything else done to intentionally harm another person. Some acts of cyberbullying are even considered criminal.
Since cyberbullying is not as obvious as traditional bullying; parents and teachers may not be aware it’s taking place.
“Try to talk to your kids and teens and keep open communication if they feel harassed or bullied,” says Morin, who hopes to make a difference with her book.
“It is such an important topic that I feel needs to be talked about more,” she says. “I hope this book on cyberbullying will increase awareness on cyberbullying and bullying, and how important it is to be kind to one another.”
For more information about bullying and cyberbullying, visit www.stopbullying.gov.
Gail Morin is a Fredericksburg-area resident and former teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in education and an MBA in mental health. “Super Alert Dog: Adventures on Bullying” is the first in a series of ten books, each one on a topic relevant to children preschool through middle school ages.
Morin is available to speak at schools and daycares on cyberbullying and for book readings. She can be contacted at email@example.com