The documentary, Bully, opened this weekend and the online world has been buzzing with anticipation.
The movie, made for under a million dollars, examines the effects of bullying in schools by getting the perspectives of five kids (and their families). Two of those families lost their children to suicide due to the bullying.
Before even hitting the theaters, the film directed by Lee Hirsh was getting publicity. Katy Butler, a Michigan teen, campaigned with great success to get the “R” rating changed to PG-13 which would allow more school-aged kids to be able to view the movie.
Bloggers signed up by the hundreds to share their story of being bullying or witnessing bullying in hopes of persuading their audiences to see the film, talk with their children, and help The Bully Project’s movement to end bullying.
And there were some powerful stories.
Kimberly talked about how she stood up for her sister.
Fadra shared about seeing it from the eyes of a young teacher.
and Alex discussed the importance of the bystanders.
Everyone seems to have a bully story. Everyone seems to want to stop it.
And I totally agree.
I’m also a teacher. I also see teens bullied. It is heartbreaking.
But you know what? As important as this film is and I fully support it’s mission, bullying amongst kids is not going to stop until bullying amongst adults ends.
Politicians are backing this film, but those same adults are probably guilty of bullying.
Kids can learn from this film how devastating bullying can be, but then they go home and a parent bullies them. Or they turn on the TV and politicians are calling girls/women on birth control “sluts” or women are pointing fingers at each other calling each other lazy or unqualified. Read all the comments under something someone posts on line and count the number of “trolls” taunting and teasing the writer and other commenters.
Aren’t all these forms of bullying?
Is this a case of do as I say, but not as I do?
I hope not.
I hope adults can learn from Bully as much as kids can.
But I doubt it.
Parents will tell their kids to pay attention. They will cry for the victims.
But then they will call people names who don’t believe what they do. They will tear someone down in order to feel better about themselves.
Don’t bully, kids.
At least not until you are an adult.
Note: There are anti-bully movements for adults too. One that I am a part of (because I am part of the “mom blog” community) is The Mom Pledge.
And there are bullying resources here.