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?

Thanks for visiting!

The Best Worst Days Ever

Life is funny. Kids want to grow up faster than ever, and adults dream of bygone days when life was simple, when they were five or six, or maybe ten years old. As a mother of six children, well…now, mostly young adults, I spend too much time at the grocery store. Frequently, I see parents struggling with their kids, dropping groceries, and they look utterly exhausted. Last week, I saw a young mother pulling a grape lollipop out of her daughter’s hair. Yes, the child was screaming and kicking. Ah, the joys of motherhood!

You may think I’m crazy, but I’d give just about anything to get those long, sleepless—wonderful days back. I had five kids in seven years, and then seven years later had my sixth child. Yes! I was busy. They say there’s no use crying over spilled milk, but have you ever dropped a gallon of milk? I have, more than once, and it is one of the worst messes I’ve ever seen. Milk is not content to simply puddle around your feet. Oh, no. It must splash all over the refrigerator shelves, before it seeps under the refrigerator, and of course, this is while dinner is cooking. That means the dinner rolls are long forgotten until the smell of crispiness attacks your nose. Fun times…

Although the day I dropped a gallon of paint from atop a ladder on the second floor, only to watch it bounce and thrash down the steps to the foyer was truly horrendous! The paint exploded from the can to make huge spirals all over the wall I just painted. Those spirals, being a flat paint, dried super fast and had to be sanded off. The walls, carpet, foyer tiles, and me were a disaster, and I did this one to myself. Uh-huh…that was a bad day.

Oh, it gets better. My little darlings, all creative little sprites…loved to make me “things.” One morning, I awoke to find a cheese design on my wall. Actually, it was quite pretty, but cheese sticks…and when removed, leaves an oily mark. Nothing on earth would wash away the oil, so the oily remains had to be cut out, repaired, and painted. Try to imagine what they did with eggs and blue paint.

My youngest daughter, Brenna, still laughs until her eyes water, when my family recounts how she distributed an entire bottle of maple syrup all over our downstairs. I believe she was around four years old and did this in the middle of the night when I was in a coma. That morning, I stepped into a gooey puddle as my foot hit the foyer, and it was downhill from there. She managed to dribble that syrup all over the couches, floors, TV, her toys, and anywhere else she could find. Brenna was kind enough to make sure the silverware drawer was adequately doused as well.

Can I top that? Yep, I’m afraid so. Max the ferret probably made for one of the most memorable days my family has had…so far. Occasionally, the kids would let him run around the house. Unfortunately, Max loved to hide. After a few hours of looking for him, my daughter discovered he’d gotten stuck in my husband’s favorite stereo speakers. Let’s just say, hubby was not happy. The speaker died, Max lived. Yikes! What a day from you know where.

Those were the days, though. Every night, I tucked my kids in bed and knew they were safe and sound. I heard them giggling and telling each other goodnight. A child’s laugher is precious, isn’t it? So if parenting brings you any days like my past episodes…smile. Milk can be sopped up, walls can be repaired (many times), and ferrets can survive stereo speakers. Although, I’d suggest keeping cheese out of reach! The worst days become the best memories never to be relived, but wished for always.

Feel free to share your childhood antics, or family mishaps, and bring a bit of laughter to someone.

Thanks for visiting the Noracast!