Author administers ‘no bullying’ oath to students

Published 6:49 pm Thursday, March 7, 2013

Alabama author C.L. Threatt took the message of the two Rs, reading and ’riting, to the students in the Pike County School System Wednesday and Thursday and they got the message loud and clear.

It’s not that ’rithmetic is not important because it is but Threatt is a reader and a writer and his mission to help students understand the importance of those skills.

“If you don’t read, you are like a book with blank pages,” he told the students at Goshen Elementary School Thursday. “It’s important that you learn to read and read well. I’m a poet and I like to make words rhyme. And, I like to imagine all kinds of things. Use your imagination because, if you imagine it, you can write about it.”

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Threatt, the author of 11 published books and, at least that many more, that haven’t made it to the bookshelves.

And, had it not been for some hard knocks along the way, Threatt might not have had the opportunity to be an author and an encourager of young people.

“I had worked for a computer company for 19 years and one morning in 2009, I walked in to work and I was told that the next day would be my last day,” Threatt said. “I had to find something that I could do.”

Threatt made up stories to tell to his four children and he was a poet at heart.

“I liked rhymes so I decided to write rhyming stories for children,” he said.

But, getting his books published wasn’t easy. He held up a bundle of letters and told the GES students that those were rejection notices.

“I sent my books to a lot of companies and all of these sent letters back saying that they didn’t like my books and that children would not like my books,” he said.

“That hurt my feelings but I didn’t give up. And, if you have a goal, go for it. Don’t let what people say make up give up.”

Threatt said that there are many people in Alabama who can’t read. He challenged the students to be readers and make good grades.

“It may not be popular to be smart and you might get teased for making good grades but don’t let that bother you,” he said. “The nerd at your school today might be your boss tomorrow.”

Threatt turned “very” serious when he talked with the students about the growing problem of bullying.

“If you don’t like to be picked on, then you shouldn’t pick on anybody else,” he said.

“And, even if you’re not the one doing the bullying, if you laugh and go along with it, then you are just as guilty of bullying as the one who is doing it.”

Threatt had the students raise their hands and take the ‘No Bullying” pledge and encouraged them to keep the pledge that they had made.

“Each one of you has value and even if people put you down, you still have value,” he said.

Threatt takes his message of encouragement to all ages. He has recently published a book for adults based on his experiences as a family man who was “laid off.”

The title of the book is “Laid Off but Not Laid Out.”

Threatt said he appreciates the opportunities to visit schools and to have a positive impact on young lives.