Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 15th 2015 Contents VALDEEN SHEARS-NEPTUNE
She would be the first to tell you that she
is the last person to wage war on bullies.
Research, first-hand experience, and being
naturally empathetic led Sally Ragoo to the
realisation that she could not just condemn
another human being even when violent behav-
iour visited her own family.
Today, she said, it s her duty to help the
public to identify the signals, work with both
the victim and the bully but more so, for people
to recognise that curbing bullying from its root
can directly impact on decreasing crime years
It is this reasoning which drove Ragoo to pen
the handbook The Cries of The Victims And
Bullies years ago, and it also drove her burning
desire to reintroduce the book to the public.
"I decided to pen this book from a parent s
perspective. It is well-researched and interwoven
with my own experiences. As I said, we cannot
wage war against all bullies because most of
them are also from troubled homes and need
help as well. It s a mechanism for change and
education," she said.
It is these factors, coupled with the knowledge
of the long-term psychological damage of bul-
lying, which has the wife and mother pleading
with the public to sensitise themselves about
the often controversial topic.
With school violence on the rise and the
recent hospitalisation of a child following an
altercation with other classmates, Ragoo said
the reintroduction of the book was not only
timely for use by adults, but also children and
The book is easy to read, informative and
has a cover which can draw the attention of
any young person, whether they are a bully,
being bullied, or know of someone who s being
bullied. Ragoo s journey to writing this book
started when her firstborn son, Ashvin, was
being bullied for four years before a particularly
violent attack forced it all out into the open.
Ashvin was a Form Five student at the time
of the incident but the bullying, she learnt,
had started the moment her son entered
high school. It was bruises from the kicks
and a pummelling from his attackers which
finally drew Ragoo s attention to her son s
While her son, now in his mid-20s has
healed, she noted that his "self-esteem had
been crippled for many, many years."
Ragoo said she was sure that when her son
was going through his ordeal, he would have
been greatful for a guide of some sort, human
or just words, to get him through the nightmare.
She too was once in that same position.
Coincidently, Ragoo, who also suffered a sim-
ilar fate during her high school years, said it
was this vicious cycle that she hopes her book
will help to dismantle. Her years at a strict
Catholic girls school was not an easy one. In
fact, she was teased, taunted and bullied into
believing that she was inferior for simple reasons
as an ill-fitting uniform or not having an early
interest in boys.
Her own inner confidence, though, saw her
overcome these trials and eventually promoted
to head girl and valedictorian at her gradua-
Later research, she said, would enlighten her
about some of the factors which spur bullying.
She noted that while some issues would be
considered inconsequential, to a bully it is a
reason or excuse to target a potential victim.
From being quiet to a speech impediment,
to wearing glasses, were some of the trivial fac-
tors that were found to be fodder for a bully.
"Most of the times it is the shy and emotional
children that are the victims of bullying," she
Her son, she recalled, was a shy and emotional
child who was also very thin, so it was easy for
a bully to "pick" on him.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2015
For Ragoo, it was her "own
pain, the damaged self-es-
teem of my son, and the cries
of children and parents"
which inspired her to "listen
with my spirit and write from
The book incorporates in-
formation and spiritual guid-
ance and was penned after
two years of countless inter-
views with parents, victims
and bullies. Ragoo wanted to
ensure that the public was
equipped with "powerful, but
The publication defines bul-
lying, how to deal with cyber-
bullying and explores the
characteristics of both the
bully and the victim. The book
comprises nine chapters and
is an easy-to-read manual for
overcoming the pitfalls of bul-
lying, an issue, the author re-
minded, which continues to
affect millions around the
Identifying the signs of bul-
lying, methods to ward off
bullies, and guidance on ways
to rebuild the damaged self-
esteem of victims are just
some of the issues touched
on in the 40-page publication.
Also detailed in the book are
recommendations for par-
ents, principals, teachers,
guidance counsellors and oth-
ers in authority, on how to
deal with bullies.
Ragoo said she has been
lobbying for a collaboration of
some sort between the min-
istries, which focuses on both
education and social services.
Ragoo said she firmly be-
lieves that this will be a major
step in the long-term eradica-
tion of crime. She added that
a bully often lives to become
an abuser as an adult.
GET THE BOOK
The Cries of The Victims
And Bullies can be purchased
at Jadoo's Bookstores in
Arima, Nigel R Khan Book-
sellers, Charran's and Keith
Khan in San Fernando. The
book, which got five-star rat-
ings, can also be purchased
online at Amazon and eBay.
ABOUT THE BOOK
...Sally Ragoo's book educates
people on issue of bullying
Sally Ragoo, author of The Cries of
Victims and Bullies, at a book signing.
Continues on Page B2
Links Archive November 14th 2015 November 16th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page