Tag Archives: bullying

Bully – Movie Review

27th February 2013

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.

BULLY – Sign The Petition, See the Movie

29th February 2012

 Every 7 minutes a child is bullied on school grounds, adults intervene 4% of the time, peers intervene 11% of the time, but 85% of the time there is no intervention. 18 million children are bullied each year – that is 1 out of 4 teens. 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment at school and online.

These numbers are horrifying, and as a mother, they scare the shit of me. No lie.

This is a movie that everyone needs to see. Sadly, the MPAA gave the movie an R-rating, which only prevents teens from seeing it. Katy Butler, a Michigan high school student started a petition in an effort to get the MPAA to change the rating. PLEASE consider signing the petition I’ve linked to below, because every signature counts:


BULLY: Directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, Bully is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America’s bullying crisis. Bully follows five kids and families over the course of a school year. Stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices, the film offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children. As teachers, administrators, kids and parents struggle to find answers, Bully examines the dire consequences of bullying through the testimony of strong and courageous youth. Through the power of their stories, the film aims to be a catalyst for change in the way we deal with bullying as parents, teachers, children and society as a whole.

Watch the trailer – but I warn you – your heart will break.

For more information, please go to TheBullyProject.com.
Make a Difference, Join the Movement.

6 year old bullies – UPDATED

17th June 2010

I didn’t sleep well last night – obviously. I woke up with anger and anxiety, which sucks quite frankly. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got to the school, although a million and one scenarios played in my head. After I dropped off my son to his classroom, I went to the principals office. I assumed she knew why I was there – but she didn’t. She had NO idea. No one had told her a thing. Great.

So I sat down and told her everything. She’s one of those people that have this nervous smile/laugh, that is great unless you’re telling her about your son who was assaulted on her watch. I told her how I felt, I told her that I wanted severe consequences, that I needed assurance that the parents would be involved in some valuable way. She asked if my son had “done anything” to bring it about, if he was “involved” in any way – I’m not sure what a 6 year old can do exactly to bring about a full on assault by two other kids. She told me that she would have to deal with it after lunch because all the grade ones were away in the morning. So I waited for a phone call, and she finally called at 5:00 p.m.

She played out what she gathered happened by talking to the kids who were there, the teachers and the yard duty teachers. First of all, the yard duty teachers saw nothing. NOTHING. When I told her how ridiculous it was that no one saw a group of kids stand around watching 2 kids pummel on one, she didn’t respond. Really, what could she say. She said that she had talked to all the parents and that they were beyond mortified and horrified that their children did such a thing. The parents were surprised that it escalated to such violence, when their children have never shown any violent behaviour before this. Now, I don’t know the one boy, since he is in the other grade one class, but the one I do know, I’m not surprised that he picked my son to target. I’ve seen him pick on him before – with my own eyes. I have felt the need, in the past, to be at the school during recess, and watch my son from the street, and saw him being picked on by this kid, over and over again. Even when my son tried to walk away, the kid kept at it following him around. My son’s mistake was not telling anyone when it did happen, trying instead to handle it himself.

Both kids were given a ONE DAY suspension that they will carry out at school, in the principal’s office. ONE DAY. I was mistaken when I said that the school has a zero tolerance policy – evidently it doesn’t. Instead, they practice something called gradual discipline(?) – so basically, the more a kid acts out, the more severe the punishment. Because neither of these kids had been caught doing anything wrong in the past, they can only do so much. However, because of the severity of the assault, she was forced to do more. Each child will also be kept inside during recess period in order to earn back the trust they lost. These are her words by the way – not mine. She told me that one child was completely remorseful, crying and the lot, while the other one bragged about how good he was at beating kids up. A SIX YEAR OLD.

They also are meant to apologize verbally and in written form to my son. When they attempted to verbally apologize to him today, he told them and the principal that he was not ready to hear it. That’s my baby.

And that’s that. The school year ends on the 26th – seven more school days left. She told me that the discipline process would continue until the end of the year. That there would be formal letters given to the parents and put into their files. Am I satisfied with that? I don’t know – not really. Do I expect to hear from the parents? If it was the other way around, I would have contacted them immediately. I would have marched my kid over to their home to apologize to his victim and the parents, to ensure that he understood the severity of the situation and that that kind of behaviour would not fly. But that’s just me. Had my son told on the one boy who teased him and picked on him, every time it happened, then there would have been a file on this boy, so instead of the principal and teacher constantly feeling the need to tell me HOW SURPRISED THEY WERE by his behaviour, they would know that the kid was actually a little shit.

My advice to every mom/dad out there based on what I have experienced over the last 24 hours? Make sure your child knows that they can come to you with anything and everything, no matter what it is. Make sure they know that they need to tell their teacher every time they are hurt, teased, bullied, both physically and mentallyby another student, so that there is a record. As your child’s parent, you are their best and only true advocate – put public opinion, reputation and friendship aside when it comes to what is best for your child. If you read the comments from the original post below, you will see story after story of bullying that people or their children have endured. It makes me sick to my stomach to read them and know that kids are scared to go to school because of what other kids may do to them. What is happening? It’s ridiculous. It is total and utter bullshit.

Finally, I really want to say a quick thank you to every single person who commented and tweeted and reached out to me so that I wouldn’t feel so alone in this. I cannot fully express how grateful I am, and how much I needed it. If anyone, ever doubted the power of blogging, of tweeting, of social media – just think about those moments when you are supported and held by so many of these amazing virtual people, whom you may not have even met otherwise. You made all the difference.


I pick my son up from school every day. He sees me waiting for him, and runs like crazy toward me, so happy to come home. His smile is always the biggest when he knows he’s coming home for the day.

I don’t blame him.

Last week, a 7 year old who is in the other grade one class, and who was also his best friend in SK, told him he was going to kill him. He was also pulled, pushed, kicked and chased around the field, by him and another boy, as he tried to get away from them.

Today, my 6 year old son was outside at recess when two other grade one kids, started chasing him again. Because he’s asthmatic, my guy can’t run very fast. They caught up with him and pushed him down and started kicking him. They kicked him in the stomach, the groin, and continuously in the neck, while a group of kids watched. Only one boy yelled at them to stop, and they didn’t. It didn’t stop until the bell rang and the kids dispersed. Despite there being supposed yard duty teachers on site, no adult was there to stop what was happening to my 6 year old.

So, today, when my 6 year old ran toward me, his teacher was right behind him and I knew something was wrong. She told me what happened, and I could literally feel my blood pressure rise as my son held onto me tightly. She was very matter of fact, and without an ounce of compassion in her voice. When I mentioned that I would be back tomorrow, to talk to the principal (who was absent), she told me that both boys apologized and would miss recess tomorrow. That is their punishment? Missing recess? This is supposedly a no tolerance school, and yet this kind of thing happens all the time. For some reason, my son is a target, and constantly teased, and yet when I tell the teachers, they respond that they cannot believe that the other boys would act out in that way. When my son defends himself, they simply say that he was also guilty of being “bad”. It’s a no-win situation – for a six year old boy.

I hate this shit. I go blue in the face day in and day out, making sure that my son knows right from wrong, has good manners, and is respectful. If it was my kid who did something like this to another kid, you bet your ass there would be severe consequences.

Tomorrow, I’m going to the school to get answers, and I will go to the school board if I don’t like what I hear. It is going to take everything in me to not approach those kids and tell them to stay the hell away from my son. Of course, if I did that, I would be the one in trouble – because that’s just the way it is.

My son spent the afternoon lying on the couch, burying his head in the pillows, on the verge of tears. I could hear him mumbling quietly to himself saying, “but why? but why?” When I tried to comfort him, he would look at me with this look of utter sadness, and just ask, “But why did he do that to me, mommy? I didn’t do anything to him? Why did he do it to me?”

“I don’t know”, I say.

“What’s gonna happen now, Mommy?” he asked me later on this evening.

“I don’t know, bunny,” I say.” I don’t know.”

Short of being on the field during each recess, I have no idea how to protect my son from these six year old bullies, and that thought makes me sick to my stomach.

Mommy Conundrum – Bullying

13th October 2009

My 5 year old son has mentioned a couple times now about this older kid in Grade 3 who is constantly picking on him at school. At first it began as teasing – he would tell my son that he couldn’t run fast, and was so slow, etc. Which is really no big deal I suppose, and these things happen, so I told my son as much. Then, my son told me that a kid hit him on the back at recess and it was on purpose and that it really hurt him. When I asked him who it was, he refused to tell me at first. Then this weekend, he told me that an older kid has been pushing him against the fence and being mean to him. He also told me that he was scared of this boy, and that I needed to talk to his mom. When I pushed him further, he finally admitted that its been the same boy doing all of this, which he had not admitted up to this point. He also just told me who the boy is because he wants me to get him to stop.

When I asked him why he hadn’t told me the kid’s name up to this point, he told me it was because he likes “the bully’s” little sister, and doesn’t want to get her in trouble. I feel really bad about this whole situation because I know this kid’s mom, and she’s very nice and with four kids, she has her hands full. However, the minute someone messes with my kids, I can’t stand back and do nothing. The minute he said he was scared, it broke my heart. Now I know in this day and age, you can’t “do” or say anything to someone else’s kid, but I am so angry about the entire situation, I wish I could.

My son is five. FIVE. This may be naive to say, but why does this sort of thing even have to happen. He’s still a baby, and already feeling scared by an older kid at school. It is just unfair that he has to even deal with this. Its unfair that I have to deal with this.

This is the kind of thing that you really don’t think about when you’re having babies and becoming a mother. You think about the joys and the gifts about motherhood. You don’t think about having to deal with bullies and your child being scared at the age of 5. This is one of those stressful situations that I wish no mom had to deal with. And I know that this is not really a “big deal” in terms of bullying, I guess there are much worse. But to my young son, it is a big deal. To my son, this kid is scary and mean and physical with him and that’s more than enough for me to act.

I would love any advice you may have on how to deal with the situation, both with my son and with this kid and his mother. What would you do and how would you deal with the situation? Any kids books that you could suggest that I might pick up to read with my son, I would also appreciate. Thanks so much.


After really thinking about my options, reading all your comments, and talking with my husband, I decided that my first step would be to approach the mom personally. My son and her younger daughter were in the same class last year (she was in JK, while Nicholas was in SK), so we would see each other daily and we spoke daily. I thought it would probably be my best option, because I knew her, but also because I would hope for the same consideration if it were reversed. I approached her alone, and told her the situation. I was non-confrontational, polite, friendly – my usual self with her to be honest. She was SHOCKED. She couldn’t believe it. She kept asking me if I had the right kid, because there are many kids with his name, being a very common name. She kept saying his full name, as a question to me. I told her that I would never have approached her if I didn’t know that it was her son 100%. She asked for exact details of how many times it happened and what was said and done. I told her what she wanted to know, and she said that she would have a VERY SERIOUS discussion with her son that evening. That was Tuesday.

I saw her from my car as I was parking on Wednesday. In fact, she walked right by the car. I’m not sure, but it seemed like she was avoiding me, although I hope I’m wrong. I’m not at that school today, since my little guy is not feeling great, but I will see what happens tomorrow.

I don’t regret approaching her first – I think it was the right thing to do for this situation. I’m waiting to see how this plays out. If it happens again, as I told the mom, I will be forced to talk to the teacher and/or principal. Because no matter how I feel about this mom, my son comes first, period.

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