The film Bully is really such an important movie for kids (and adults) to see. Each year 13 million kids are bullied and 3 million kids miss school each year because they feel unsafe at school. Countless others will attempt, and some will succeed, to take their own lives.
Words can hurt. Bully aims to show what teen bullying looks like in contemporary America, in all its cruelty. Shot beginning in 2009 in Iowa, Oklahoma, Georgia and Mississippi, the film focuses on five families coping with the the daily abuse their kids experience under the noses of sometimes apathetic administrators. Two of those families lost sons to suicide.
Growing up in an era before the internet existed, bullying may have seemed tame in my era (the 70′s), but the taunts and having cruel words hurled at you can have a profoundly negative impact on you.
High School can be a nightmare for kids, and it was in no way a pleasant experience for myself. I grew up stuttering and on top of that I’m also gay, so kids had a double whammy on me. I don’t know how many times I had the word “fag” yelled at me, and then there was the humiliation of kids mocking my stutter in the classroom and in front of ALL the other kids.
Needless to say, I was pretty much a loner in high school. You don’t feel as if you can talk to anyone about it, since the attacks are so personal. My parents were pretty conservative, and I wasn’t out of the closet yet, so I pretty much withdrew in to my own world.
I was able to overcome all the negativity and really find out who I was in college. I think by owning who I was, really helped in my personal growth. I’m still a very shy person (which some people assume is as if I’m being aloof) and I attribute that in part to the bullying, but I’m completely comfortable in my own skin.
Not everyone can or has the strength to do that. Especially in these days in times with cyber-bullying and and extreme bullying which is akin to torture for kids.
So please, please think before you speak. Your words can have devastating consequences. If you see someone being bullied stand up and do something about it. Don’t just idly stand by and let it happen.
Please take a stand against bullying. Show your support by joining the movement.