INDIANAPOLIS - Author Jodee Blanco spoke to parents about bullying and everyone's role in stopping it Tuesday night at Saint Joan of Arc School.
"Primary message is, it's not just joking around; the bullying damages you for life," Blanco told parents. "And secondly, to make sure their kids understand that bullying isn't just the mean things they do -- it's all the nice things they never do, that never including someone, even if it's not on purpose, is still bullying."
Blanco gave a powerful presentation to students earlier in the day.
"They talked about Jodee all the way home almost word for word, everything that she said," parent Sarah Batt said. "And they said, 'Mom, she has a message that she really wants parents to hear, and so you need to go.'"
The New York Times bestselling author signed copies of her book "Please Stop Laughing at Me," which is now required reading in many schools across the nation.
Blanco was once bullied, but now she's sharing practical tips to stop the epidemic.
"If you're a parent, the three things you should never say to a bullied child (are): ignore the bullies and walk away, leave them alone and they'll leave you alone, and they're just jealous," Blanco said. "They're clichés and don't work."
Parents were paying close attention to Blanco's advice.
"I would never want that for any child to have to go through that, and I hope that (having) more information available to us can help the grown-ups actually help the children," said parent Jami Allee.
Blanco said the fact that people are talking about bullying more gives her hope, but she said there's still a long way to go.