The husband and I watched Bully and honestly, I can’t remember the last time I was so emotional during (and following) a movie. I cried pretty much the entire movie and when I wasn’t crying, I was very very angry with what I was seeing.
I’m still very, very angry.
The movie follows the stories of five kids (and their families), who have been bullied over the school year. Two of these families have lost their children to suicide – 17 year old Tyler and 11 year old Ty. Another family is dealing with their daughter, 14 year old Jameya, who is incarcerated after taking a weapon to school to deal with their bullies. Bully also follows 16 year old Kelby who has been bullied incessantly because she’s gay, and 12 year old Alex who is tortured at school every single day.
It’s a really hard watch but it is absolutely a must see for parents, for their kids and for school administration. One of the most frustrating and disappointing things to see in this movie is how the school is dealing with Alex’s bullying – they are absolutely clueless and actually refuse to believe anything is wrong. When confronted by his parents about him being physically bullied on the school bus, the principal insists that she’s been on that bus and the kids are “as good as gold.” I’m not going to lie, it took everything in me not to throw something at the television at that point. She also forced a bullying victim to shake hands with his bully and then let the bully go while she tried to convince the victim that he was rude for not accepting his handshake. Honestly, it just doesn’t get more infuriating than that.
I truly believe the only way we are even going to get close to getting a grip on this epidemic of bullying is if parents are involved and willing to accept the responsibility of their kids when they are bullies. Sweeping things under the rug and letting them work it out on their own or saying it’s part of growing up is just the absolute wrong attitude to have. The administration of these schools needs to have a zero tolerance to bullying and need to make the students feel like they have somewhere to turn when they are bullied. Asking the victim what role they played in the whole thing is just another way that bullying continues to happen. It will take the students being bullied to be strong enough to ask for help and demand action. Bullying is absolutely a “it takes a village” scenario – everyone involved have to be on the same page with the same goal or it’s never going to happen.
How can you get involved??
- You can head to the The Bully Project website and sign the petition to stop bullying here.
- You can order an educator’s DVD and tool kit to show this movie at your school’s here for $30 plus shipping.
- You could host a screening in your town or city.
- You can find The Bully movie on Twitter and Facebook for more info.
- Learn more about Bullying – Prevention and Intervention with this book written by the writer/producer of the movie.
- There are so many organizations out there that are working to stop this problem – get involved or start your own!
Stand for the Silent is another non-profit anti-bullying organization that was created by Ty Field-Smalley’s parents after he committed suicide at age 11. Please check out their site and find out how you can get involved and start your own chapter.
If you haven’t yet seen Bully, do it as soon as you can. Borrow someone’s copy if you can’t buy it – it is that important to see. I will be sitting down to watch it with my nine year old son because he needs to know what is and isn’t ok when dealing with his peers, and how bullying has the power to destroy one’s life. Check out the trailer below.