Glee actress Dot-Marie Jones knows what it’s like to be bullied as a kid.
“I grew really fast seven inches in six months,” Jones, who plays Coach Beiste on the series, tells PEOPLE. “Kids would say comments like, ‘You’re so tall, you should have been a man. Are you a man? Are you a woman?’ It still strikes a nerve. Kids don’t realize how powerful words are.”
So she’s lending her star power to a new children’s book that aims to prevent bullying. Just Like You is a book about Henry, a deaf field mouse, and Boris, a spider with a bad leg, who get bullied but stick together no matter what.
The moral of the story?
“It doesn’t matter what your differences are,” says Jones, 47. “You have to embrace what your likenesses are, and that we’re all just like you.”
The book is available at the Just Like You Foundation website, and 100 percent of the profits will be donated to benefit people with disabilities.