Autumn Bornholdt experienced bullying and used her writing about the event to help herself and she also hopes it will help others that may be facing a similar situation.
Autumn Bornholdt experienced bullying and used her writing about the event to help herself and she also hopes it will help others that may be facing a similar situation.

"Words are powerful - they can inflict damage and they can heal."

This simple statement describes a book that was just recently published, "Bullying Under Attack: True Stories Written by Teen Victims, Bullies & Bystanders." This book is a collection of first-person essays written by teenagers from three different standpoints - the bullied, the bully, and the bystander with hopes of providing insight and inspiration for change.

One local high school senior is a part of this book that is published by Teen Ink, a website and magazine written by teens. Autumn Bornholdt learned about Teen Ink through her high school English teacher, Bev Nelson. Once Bornholdt explored the website, she began submitting different pieces she had written from free-verse poems to short essays. Awhile after her submissions she received an email requesting her to submit a piece on bullying for the book.

"It really didn't take me very long to write the essay because it was about something that had happened to me, so it was quite heart-felt," explained Bornholdt.

She submitted her essay titled, "Slip and Slide" in January and in February she received an email saying they were going to use her submission.

"I was so happy when I received the notice! I went running into the weight room (at school where she regularly works out) to tell everyone the news!" Bornholdt said with a big smile. "I also sent an email to friends about the submission and I got very supportive emails back - I saved those!"

Bornholdt's essay tells of her experience of being bullied through hurtful emails and Facebook messages that all began with an unfortunate photo. She was also asked to do a simple YouTube video in coordination with her essay.

"My sister helped me with the video; it is pretty simple and I was kind of nervous about making it," she added. "But when I read the comments on the video it made me glad that I did it; if I can help just one person who might be in the same situation that I was, I would be really happy."

The daughter of Todd and Lisa Bornholdt, she is a senior at Spring Grove High School. She has been writing for as long as she can remember filling many journals with poetry, dreams, and daily life. She is still considering what she would like to do after she graduates, but when she is looking at colleges she does consider their journalism or creative writing majors. Other hobbies she enjoys are dancing, reading, going horseback riding, and going camping.

The book is available to purchase online from places such as Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Bornholdt was also excited and surprised when she saw that her name and excerpt were listed on the website to give readers an idea of what the book contains.

National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month and Teen Ink published this book as part of the campaign against bullying. National Bullying Prevention Month was founded in 2006 by PACER's National Center for Bullying Prevention. It started as a week-long event and has continued to grow and evolve into a nationally renowned event.

The website,, explains, "PACER developed the initial campaign National Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week in response to the need to raise awareness of bullying, as it was historically viewed 'a childhood rite of passage' and believed that bullying 'made kids tougher', when the reality is that bullying has devastating effects such as school avoidance, loss of self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression." 

PACER - Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights - is based in Bloomington, Minn. Its National Bullying Prevention Center provides "creative, interactive resources that are designed to benefit all students, including those with disabilities. It offers educators, students, families and individuals tools to address bullying in schools, the community, and online." For more information, visit or call (888) 248-0822.