Posted by Dana Hinders on May 7, 2012
Bully, a documentary currently playing in selected cities nationwide, is filmmaker Lee Hirsch’s attempt to bring a new focus to a hot issue by profiling five children and their families as they struggle to deal with the effects of bullying at school. Two of the five children profiled eventually kill themselves as a result of the relentless bullying they receive. Alex, one of the boys featured, caught my attention because he lives in a town that is relatively close to me.
I have not seen this movie yet, but it’s something I’d seriously consider taking my son to see if it reaches a theater in our area. I know many parents are worried it could be too disturbing for their children, but from the reviews I’ve read and the comments I’ve seen online it sounds like a fairly accurate portrayal of what bullied children are going through each day. It’s graphic and the language makes parents uncomfortable, but this is the reality of what life is like for severely bullied kids.
My heart breaks for the bullied children of today, simply because their tormentors now have access to Facebook, Twitter, and a multitude of other high-tech ways of spreading around their abuse. At least when I was in high school, the bullying stopped when everyone went home for the day.
Do I want to have to talk to my son about bullying? Not particularly. I’d love for him to live in a world where we were all nice enough to get along with each other despite our differences. Unfortunately, that’s probably not going to happen. Since I can’t change how other parents raise their children, my hope is that I can make sure my son understands the importance of being kind to his classmates and that he’ll trust me enough to be able to tell me if he’s being bullied at school. In my opinion, watching Bully together seems like a good way to help reinforce that lesson.