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About Kathy Noll...
Kathy Noll was always creative as a child, making up stories to entertain friends, and that still holds true today. Taking a two-year writing course to improve her techniques, she has also learned a lot through observation, and over-thinking!

Kathy says, "With me, the most important thing in writing is notes, notes, notes! Everything in my environment gives me ideas throughout the day, and I'm quick to write them down so I don't forget. Some of the stuff might fit what I'm currently working on. The rest, I'll save as inspiration for future projects."

"I have also found that I can write the best, and get the most done, when I play the role of the hermit! Sometimes I compare myself to Beethoven. In that when we're working on something creative, we neglect ourselves in order to stay focused and get it finished quickly. For example: hair-unbrushed, clothes-unchanged, stomach-unfed!"

She has also had her short stories/articles published in magazines along with interviews, helped NBC news monitor a classroom in Philadelphia for bullying behavior, and also helped many pqeople with their own bully problems through her book, educational and family related internet chats, message board hosting, and e-mail.

Writing this book has generated many letters of thanks from both adults and children. She shares with us how this book has touched her:

"I want to mention a dear little boy with only one leg who gets teased at his school. He opened my book as a gift from his mother on Christmas morning, and didn't put it down until he finished.

He then said, "I feel a lot better about myself now; this is the best book I ever read."

When his mother told me this, with tears in my eyes I told her, "Now I know why I wrote the book.""

Please e-mail me at:

About Jay Carter... Dr. Jay Carter (MA, PsyD) is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice in West Reading, PA - Carter Counseling. Professional speaker since 1974, he is the best selling author of Nasty People and Nasty Men," addressing issues of conflict and difficult personalities. His books have sold 1/2 million copies, his latest one being Butterflies: The Transformation of Man.

He is on the Executive Committee for the Berks Area Psychological Society, under contract with Berks County Prison (where he learned a lot about the Bully mentality), and is currently contracted with the Caron Foundation to do evaluations for adolescents.

Dr. Carter has taught thousands of people through adult education courses and workshops dealing with Charisma, Leadership, and Difficult People. His books and workshops have made positive changes in personal and professional lives.

He has also appeared on numerous radio and TV shows around the world, and consulted with the Oprah Winfrey Show for shows on "Verbal Abuse" and "Obnoxious Husbands." "Readers Digest" consulted with him for an article on Mean People, and he was awarded with the Maggie Award for an article on the Contagiousness of Verbal Abuse in "Mothering Magazine."


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Nasty People
by Kathy Noll & Jay Carter

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Nasty People
by Jay Carter

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Nasty Men
by Jay Carter

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Empowering Kids to Deal with Bullies and Low Self-esteem
by Kathy Noll, Author - "Taking the Bully by the Horns"

Did you know that 23% of 9th graders have carried a weapon to school recently? According to the US Justice Department, one out of three kids will be offered or sold drugs at school while one out of four kids is bullied either mentally or physically every day. Do we really know what happens to our kids when they leave the safety of our homes to go to school?

Unfortunately, bullying and child violence have become quite common themes in every school across the country, and outside the US as well.

Dr. Jay Carter and myself have written a book, and run a web site, that helps parents, teachers, and kids learn the skills they need to deal with bullies and low self-esteem. On this journey, we've encountered many sad stories that are all too real.

One that really stands out in my mind, and heart, is in the form of a letter written by a woman in IL. She starts out by thanking me for writing my book and wishing she would've had it for her son, Ricky, 5 years earlier.

Ricky was tormented every day at school by his "bullies." He was an asthmatic, and continually his classmates would take his inhaler medication from him to spray on themselves, in the air - essentially wasting it. This went on until one cold day in December, 1994, that has left his mother devastated. Ricky was found dead at school. He died of an asthma attack. His inhaler, found empty.

This is only one of many depressing stories. We've all had bad experiences to some degree that seem to be too close to home. But what can we do?

One of the things that Dr. Carter and myself did to bring awareness was in collaboration with NBC10 News out of Philadelphia. At a local middle school, we hid 5 cameras in a classroom of 8th graders. Only one child, Jonathan, was in on our "sting" operation. He played the role of a bully while wearing a wire microphone. We then hid in a nearby classroom and monitored his classmates reactions as he proceeded to harass them. He harassed them with the arrogance that only a bully knows. We had him making fun of people, pushing and shoving, and giving off a real "I'm the only all important one" attitude!

The reactions varied as you can imagine. They were about as different as every child's personality. Some moved out of his way, timid and frightened, while others stood up for themselves screaming, "Get some manners!" One girl smacked him in the forehead! But we were also touched by the concern of many. We listened as they approached the teacher and expressed concern for Jonathan's behavior. They felt he must really be hurting inside to be taking out so much frustration on them.

Bullies really do have low self-esteem. If there is something about themselves they don't like, they feel that by putting you down, and teasing you, they are distracting from their own problems. Bullies are also angry. Most likely they were also bullied at some point. We call this the "Bully Cycle." Also in question would be the negative influence of peers, caretakers who may have abused or enabled them, and exposure to violence in the media.

What can the victim do about his/her bully? Try confronting them and telling them how they are making you feel. "What did I do to you?" In many situations ignoring has the best results. If the bully no longer gets a reaction out of you, he/she will usually move on. It is no longer any fun. But what about the bully who is very abusive or violent? Make sure the school knows what is going on, and if they are unwilling to get involved, you need to contact the bully's parents. This type of bully should be avoided at all costs. Traveling to school in a group, and staying away from empty buildings are other wise options.

I'm sure you'll all agree that both the victims and bullies need help and support. Teach them that their actions have consequences. Instill in them the Rules for Fighting Fair: Identify the problem. Focus on the problem. Attack the problem, not the person. Listen with an open mind. Treat a person's feelings with respect. And finally - Take responsibility for your actions.

Let's all do our part to help prevent the children of our future from becoming "statistics."

If you are interested in seeing the segment we filmed for the 6 o'clock news at NBC10 in Philadelphia, please contact your local NBC stations and ask them to carry the piece on bullies that appeared Feb. 15, 2000. If you'd like to learn more about bully and self-esteem issues, please visit our web site at: E-mail: Or send comments, suggestions, book orders ($11.95 each includes S/H) to: Kathy Noll, 3300 Chestnut St., Reading, PA 19605

Be sure to read Kathy Noll's chat July 8, 1998, this month featured live chat from the Teachers.Net Archive!