Please Stop Laughing at Me – Jodee Blanco


Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Adams Media (July 18, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1440509867
ISBN-13: 978-1440509865
Order book here:
Order E-book here:

School Bullying. We’ve all been hearing about it. Jodee Blanco experienced it. This experience became the basis for her book “Please Stop Laughing At Me”. The book is bookended by chapters of her arriving for her 20th Reunion. Afraid to go in, she reminisces on her school experiences.

It started out pretty normal for her. Things began to go awry, when she stood up for a younger deaf girl. From that point on, she always seemed to make a target of herself, generally by standing up for others. She was beaten, spit on, had rocks thrown at her, had her clothes destroyed.

She’d switch schools, things would be good for a while, then the whole process would start all over again.  It was a never ending cycle for her it seemed.  She admits at one point in the book that she just wanted to die. 

Teachers had the general attitude that kids will be kids. Her parents took her to a shrink to find out what was wrong with her. Why couldn’t she get along with the kids her age?

She managed to survive her school years. It made her stronger, and she has become an advocate for school bullying. For others though, it’s not so simple. Some take their revenge on their classmates, as we’ve seen happen at Columbine. Others take their own lives as we so often see.

You never know who experienced it, and what impact it had on their lives, or how their lives would be different. I experienced it to a much lesser degree than Ms. Blanco. I was overweight. Because of that, parts of my chest hung over a brace I wore. I was told different things growing up: “No girl will ever love you because your tits are bigger than hers”. “You have bigger tits than my girlfriend”. While minor, it caused me to withdraw.   I’d pondered suicide in middle school and high school, because I was so unhappy.

I don’t remember many close friendships from the time I was in Elementary school to my Junior/Senior year of High School. It was at that time, I started forming the person I am now, and forming friendships, that I’ve had the pleasure to renew after 25 years.   Because I felt neglected, ignored, and unwanted, it’s made me a much more compassionate person, I like to think.

Statistics say that in the U.S. every 100 minutes, a teenager kills theirself. In the month of September, there were at least 9 reported cases of teenagers committing suicide due to bullying. This bullying occurred either due to the fact they were gay or were perceived to be.

18 Year Old Tyler Clementi killed himself by jumping from the George Washington Bridge after being secretly filmed and put on the internet having sex with a man in his dorm room. 19 year old Raymond Chase, Student at Johnson and Wales hanged himself. Billy Lucas, 15 year old Freshman. Asher Brown, 13 years old. Was apparently bullied because he was perceived as being Gay. Seth Walsh – 13 years old, hung himself after being bullied because he was gay. Caleb Nolt, 14, Student at North Side High School in Fort Wayne, IN. Harrison Chase Brown, 15 years old. Rand Colorado. Cody J. Barker, 17, Shiocton Wis. Apparently bullied due to sexuality.

But bullying isn’t just kid on kid. As pointed out, kids can bully adults, as shown in a scene in this book. Adults can also bully other adults, as also shown in this book. And Adults can bully teens: Michigan Attorney General Andrew Shirvell went on a public blogging campaign against a University of Michigan student who was gay, was elected Student Body President. In La Crosse Wisconsin – A 14 year old girl at a pride parade, had a flag ripped from her hands and told to go to a country where people like her were hanged.

There have also been numerous cases of cyberbullying that have led to the victims killing themselves. And the victims fall on both sides, those being bullied, and those who don’t stand up for them, out of fear that they’ll be ostracized. And I’ll admit, I’m guitly of that as well, I saw people picked on in high school, but I rarely did anything to help, because I didn’t want to push myself lower on the social chain.

But back to the book.

This book had a very vivid portrayal of a young girls struggles with being bullied. It’s not just about the bullying, but about the surviving.  She does, as her parents often said, goes on to be a much stronger person, and it leads her into helping others cope with bullying. 

I beg all of you reading this to buy this book, read it, have your kids, grandkids, anyone you love who might be in a position to be bullied to read it. They need to know they aren’t out there alone. Parents, Teachers, and all of us need to stand together so we can fight this. As she points out, the bullies never remember, the bullied never forget.

Ms. Blanco runs a seminar business where she travels around to schools to discuss school bullying. You can learn more about this at Visit Ms. Blanco’s website. She as an excellent Q&A on Cyber Bullying, that is included at the end of the book as well.

About the Author:

Survivor, expert and activist Jodee Blanco is one of the country’s pre-eminent voices on the subject of school bullying. She is the author of The New York Times bestseller, Please Stop Laughing At Me . . . One Woman’s Inspirational Story. A chronicle of her years as the student outcast, the book inspired a movement inside the nation’s schools and is swiftly becoming an American classic. Referred to by many as “the anti-bullying bible,” it is required reading in hundreds of middle and high schools and numerous universities throughout the country. Please Stop Laughing at Me . . . has also been recognized as an essential resource by The National Crime Prevention Council, The Department of Health & Human Services, the National Association of Youth Courts, Special Olympics, The FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), Teacher Magazine and hundreds of state and local organizations from the PTA and regional law enforcement coalitions to school safety groups.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at FSB Associates for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Entered this review into Cym Lowell’s weekly contedst: CymLowell

5 Responses to “Please Stop Laughing at Me – Jodee Blanco”

  1. Julie @ Knitting and Sundries Says:

    Thank you for this review. I am happy to see such light being brought to bear on school bullying, as it has always been a problem, much is much more vicious now. No doubt that many of the bullies are bullied or neglected or have some sense of entitlement and superiority from how they are being raised, but the cycle continues when adults deny that there is anything wrong. I remember getting in trouble when one of our middle school bullies pushed me to the edge by pulling on my hair when she was sitting in the desk behind me. I turned around and knocked her in the nose .. it had just become too much for me. MY teacher, however, took the time to say something like, “Maybe NOW you’ll stop picking on other kids” to the girl who actually started it before she had to take us both to the office. That girl never picked on me again, but I’m certain it didn’t stop her from picking on others.

  2. pammypam Says:

    OH how i love this book! i picked it up casually when it first came out and devoured it. its the best thing out there about bullies!! i wish this were required reading for: parents, students, teachers, administrators, clergy, EVERYONE.


  3. jocuri zane Says:

    jocuri zane…

    Rhodes Review – Review Section…

  4. Debt Recovery Solicitor Campbelltown Says:

    Debt Recovery Solicitor Campbelltown…

    […]Rhodes Review – Review Section[…]…

  5. Visit this link Says:

    You can definitely see your skills within the work you write.

    The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe.
    Always follow your heart.