Watch full documentary online: iTunes Preview
We know that bullying is more than just a little problem – it’s a national, social epidemic and causes emotional and psychological damage – and in many cases, can even lead to suicide. Bully (2011) follows a few kids at schools across America, and one boy in particular – Alex Libby – who we see getting punched, sat on and even stabbed with a pencil every day on the bus to and from school. All Alex wants is a friend, or merely someone to talk to. This heart-breaking, fly-on-the-wall doc shows us that bullying is everywhere and will keep spreading unless kids stand up for their classmates.
Director: Lee Hirsch
Why this doc is worth watching: Bullying is an epidemic in our society and the issue should concern everyone. This doc offers us the opportunity to become far more aware of the serious consequences of bullying. It is important to draw attention to the problem through witnessing it at its source – as a way of generating empathy and inspiring changes in attitudes among those who have – until now – shown great indifference to such negative behaviour. The problem involves all of us as a caring community. We need to support solutions to better help our youth to communicate about their being victimized – and to reinforce stricter rules or laws against the abuse itself. As Hilary Clinton once observed, “It takes a village to raise a child”. And we all are part of that ‘village’.
Memorable quote: Mom of kid being violently attacked verbally and physically on the bus: “I’m so upset, I don’t want him to ride the bus anymore”. School counselor’s response: “I’ve ridden (bus) 54, I’ve been on that route, (those kids) are just as good as gold”.
The shocker: The inability of teachers and school administrators to understand the serious nature of bullying – attitudes that leave the victims and their parents powerless to do anything. Sometimes the bullies are even the teachers, as exemplified by Kirby’s experience, who had come out as a lesbian at her school: “[A] teacher told me how they burned fags, and kept talking about it with me in the classroom, and everyone was laughing. And they knew it was hurting me”.
Encouraging words: “Stand up for the silent” – A campaign initiated by one victim’s parents in order to bring about awareness and help put a stop to bullying.
Go to The Bully Project official site for more information and how to get involved.