Bullying is potentially brutal. So, when the topic of Bullying is presented in a documentary movie the movie cannot be made without tackling the ugly facts and patterns of this serious issue. The movie Bully is not a ‘sugar coated’ covering of the topic. It is a serious movie about a serious topic!
My wife and I saw Bully just days after it was released. As a parent, ex-teacher, ex-principal and ex-superintendent I strongly recommend that all parents and teens see this movie and to talk about it together. I also recommend that all educators and school leaders see this movie.
As an educator I have first-hand knowledge and experience with bullying in and around schools. It is real. It clearly occurs. In the movie they report that 13 million kids will be bullied in the U.S. the year.
I have written about bullying on my blog Ideas, Thoughts and Collected Works that Might Inform and Influence Others. Bully is a real problem and we can to something about it.
We can become educated. You might start by reading my other blog entries hyperlinked above. Read the reviews below. Watch the trailer linked at the end of the piece. And, of course seeing the movie Bully is an important way to educate yourself and your family.
Below you will find parts of two reviews of the movie with links to the full sources. And a link to a trailer for the movie.
What parents need to know according to Common Sense Media –
Parents need to know that Bully is a no-holds-barred documentary that intimately portrays bullying victims’ daily lives. While it’s often heartbreaking and deals with tough issues like suicide, the movie addresses an incredibly important, timely topic — bullying — in a frank, relatable way that’s age appropriate for teens and relevant for middle schoolers if an adult is present to guide discussion.
What families can talk about
- Families can talk about an individual’s responsibility to stand up, not stand by. Is that easy to do? How do you think people can really make a difference against bullies?
- Parents, talk to your kids about teen suicide. This is an incredibly tough topic, but one that needs to be addressed. What makes some people think that it’s their only option? What impact does their decision have on their friends and family? Where can kids in despair turn for assistance?
- Bullying is often seen as physical abuse, but Bully shows that words are just as powerful. Talk about the different ways that people can bully others; what has the most lasting impact?
- Bully doesn’t spend too much time discussing the online/digital side of the issue. Teens: How does cyberbullying impact you and your peers?
- School administrators come off very poorly in Bully, and there’s lots of blaming the victim. Do you think administrators leave victims feeling completely discounted? Who else can bullying victims turn to for help?
The above information and more can be found at the Common Sense Media website.
And you can read below what GreatSchools,
a national nonprofit whose mission is to inspire and guide parents to become effective champions of their children’s education at home and in their communities, has to say about Bully.
In fact, the obliviousness of adults and their failure to take bullying seriously is one of the most disturbing aspects of Bully. We witness graphic scenes from the violent frontlines of childhood, but when kids attempt to report back from the warzone of their daily lives, the adults fail, again and again, to get it. This bad behavior on the part of adults serves as an excellent talking point with your child — to build a bridge with them and make them understand you will never respond the same way. And it’s one of the strongest reasons to overlook the movie’s adults-only rating. In the film, a brief respite of domestic normality for a bullied boy turns noxious when his otherwise well-meaning father chides him for being bullied, inquiring if he actually likes it. In another excruciating scene, a teacher pressures a bullied boy to shake hands with his clearly unrepentant tormenter. When the bullied child refuses, the teacher suggests it’s his fault for not being friendly.
Finally, and most egregiously, we get to watch principals and school board officials spin their “kids will be kids” PR campaigns exonerating themselves of responsibility. In a scene that makes my stomach turn to even recall a principal assures parents whose son has been repeatedly assaulted and whose head has been crushed underneath a bus seat: “I’ve been on that bus and those kids are as good as gold.”
We’ve all seen documentaries that push the limits to make their point, with snow jobs, exaggeration, and willful lack of balance. But this is no Michael Moore flick. At the end of the screening, we asked about the adults whose actions we found so appalling. Had they seen the film? How many lawsuits were pending from angry educators? But the filmmakers went to great lengths to be careful. After the film had been edited into a cohesive story, they returned and watched the film with those adults who got it terribly wrong. The fact that these educators made no objection to the film’s release redeems them to some extent. These education professionals may have been clueless, but they meant no harm.
The three paragraphs above are from the review by GreatSchools.
Click here for a link to the movie trailer.