Bully

Lee Hirsch’s BULLY is shocking, informative, and thought provoking as it takes the audience on a dangerous and terrifying journey into a realm where bullies rule. This realm spreads out across America like a devastating infection, claiming lives and ruining youthful days better spent pursuing dreams.

The children in this movie—Kelby, Ja’Meya, and Alex, all have a story of their own to tell. Each story is filled with deep sadness. Each story pulls on a person’s heartstrings. David and Tina Long recount about the actions of bullies that eventually became too much for their son, Tyler. Tyler, only 17 years old, hung himself.

On The Bully Project website, it was stated, “Over 13 million American kids will be victims of bullying this year, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation.” Okay, that number is just as shocking as the documentary, which is why neither should be ignored. Children deserve to feel safe going to school, learning at school, and then returning home. The website is full of tips for parents and schools who are interested in taking action against this frightening situation. Parents are encouraged to talk to their kids about this. If your child is being bullied, or if your child is a bully, helpful information is there.

Watching this movie, I could not help but to wonder…

Why was there no accountability placed on the actual bullies? The victims were the ones hassled, interviewed, and made to feel like they deserved what they got.

Were any of the schools held accountable for what was happening on school property and buses?

Were any of the bullies referred to social workers to try and figure out why they were being so cruel? Were their parents or caregivers involved at all? What about consequences?

Do states require schools to have and enforce some kind of action plan for educating students/staff about this issue, and then if so…how is this action planned enforced?

Now, many, many more questions are bouncing around in my head. This movie certainly is a call to action, so I must do more research and find out if our local schools are actively fighting against bullying. The Bully Project/movie is powerful and memorable. I was encouraged after the movie to see snippets from the proactive segments that showed how initiating bully awareness and educating children on what to do really did make a drastic difference.

What are your thoughts about this issue? Do your neighborhood schools have a bully awareness program/protocol?

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