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Boyle County man writes book to help kids battle bullying

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Posted at 8:23 AM, Sep 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 08:23:19-04

PERRYVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Michael Sleet wasn’t bullied as a kid, but he remembers seeing it and never doing anything about it.

It’s a regret he has to this day.

Feelings that also fueled his desire to address bullying in schools and how to rise above it.

It led to the writing of his new short story.

Two of a Kind: Educating Your Children About Bullying.

“Hopefully it teaches kids that it’s not okay to bully,” Sleet said.

“They’ll eventually see that they can’t get through to you. The bully never wins. That’s the point I’m trying to get across.”

The story focused around a brother and sister, BrownSuga and Jas, as they try to win a basketball tournament and take down a pair of bullies who play dirty to win.

What started as a project during the pandemic is now a full published book.

Sleet has sold roughly 200 copies since it came out.

“It’s nice. It’s a nice feeling. Especially now that it’s getting out. There’s still several people asking for copies to this day,” Sleet said.

The focus for Sleet has shifted to schools, getting his book into the hands of young students to learn about bullying without really realizing it.

Two of a Kind has already been sent to multiple schools in the Lexington area, including Toliver Schools in Danville.

“Anytime you can get additional tools on anti-bullying is helpful. The book is a great conversation starter. Anytime you have that information and you can sit down and talk to kids,” Toliver Schools counselor Jenni Goggin said.

“I think it’s a book that a lot of kids will pick up thinking it’s a book about basketball but also learning a valuable lesson.”

A lesson that Sleet is willing and happy to teach himself.

He’s offered to come into schools and read his story to the children, so they can understand the message of perseverance through the source.

“It’s a good feeling because I feel like people are actually seeing that this is important. The people have read it at the schools say it’s a wonderful story and that they love the story. They think it’ll be something that the kids to learn from.”

It hits close to home for Sleet not only from seeing bullying as a kid, but also learning of his daughter experiencing it as well growing up.

It was brought to my attention that when my daughter was in school there was a girl that take her lunch, Sleet said.

“In the story, even though BrownSuga and Jaz got bullied in the story, they never retaliated. They focused on the game and played the game of basketball. I think when you do that and you don’t stoop to their level you’ll be able to overpower them.”