I watched the recent controversy over the film rating of the Weinstein Brothers film Bully. One word comes to mind: Ridiculous. I previewed the film tonight with students and adults. To say I left the theatre impacted is an understatement. The journey into the hearts and minds of faculty, administrators, parents and children was beyond unsettling. I was drawn back to my youth as a nerdy, athletic, skinny, hairy legged, flat chested 6th grader. I remember the relentless teasing I endured. I was fortunate in that I had a huge family that lived in my neighborhood and they were my friends. But, I remember. I remember approaching the school my child attended and complaining as about the daily bullying. My voice fell on very deaf ears. Boys will be boys. Girls will be girls.
If we are honest, we have all seen or been bullied, as youth and some as recently as today at the office. I am certain the vitriolic political environment does little to ease the everyday hateful language that we all witness and engage in. Each time I hear the words to Sondheim’s song, Children will listen, I am reminded of the words children hear from the adults in their world. As I left the theatre I heard 3 adults discussing the movie. Their rhetoric was blaming and without solutions.
I was trying to remember the name of the Facebook Movement in the film and stopped three freshman and asked them. Stand for the Silent is a page started by a parent of a child that took his life due to the bullying he could no longer endure. The parent is from Promise, Oklahoma. The girls were also a part of their High School response to bullying. They too had lost a classmate and had friends that were being bullied. I am not sure who or how, but the result is a video; Who do you think you r? As I watched the video, I had hope. I went to vote for their video and was encouraged as I could not find their stellar work. There are hundreds of videos on The No Bull Campaign! Most were done by students.
As for the movie Bully, it is a must see. In fact, it should be mandatory in every workplace, school, medical school, religious institution and anywhere people gather. As technology advances and cyber bullying is easier, isn’t it time we pay attention?Maybe you have not lost a child, but my guess is your child has been or has bullied. You have been or have bullied. I have been and have bullied. It stops here and now with each of us watching this film and preventing the next parent from burying a child.