I was one of the lucky ones, somehow escaping the bullies through my school years. I didn’t understand the magnitude of so many children’s suffering until I heard the stories and witnessed the lingering pain from my husband’s years of being teased and ridiculed when he was younger.
And then it hit home when I sat in my bedroom with a sobbing young boy last year.
My son has been the victim of bullying.
It breaks my heart to talk to him after a bad week. No mother ever wants to hear, “I just wish I had never been born.” but I HAVE heard those words, many times, along with, “I wish I was just a normal kid,” and “Can I just change schools, mom?”
As I’ve talked with him, his teachers, and other administrators at the school, I’ve been saddened to realize that bullying is a serious problem that effects more children than I ever knew.
As a mother, I struggle to know how to protect him, how to boost him up when others are pulling him down. Of course, I’m doing everything I can to make sure that the bullying stops. We did that last year, too. The bullying did stop. And then it started again fresh this year.
I can love him. I can give him positive experiences at home, and even educate him about bullying and the kinds of people who become bullies. I fear that many of the bullies are just as unhappy – or more unhappy – than my sweet son. And that makes me sad all over again.
Last week, I learned about a new documentary called Bully. It’s a tough subject, and I’m sure it is difficult to watch. But it is a message that needs to be shared. It feels like a collective force of parents and children standing up to the bullies.
Introducing the BULLY PROJECT:
This year, over 13 million American kids will be bullied, making it the most common form of violence young people in the U.S. experience. Bully is directed by Sundance-and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch. Bully is a character-driven documentary which depicts different aspects and dimensions of the bullying crisis. Watch this powerful trailer for Bully:
About the film:
Following five kids and families over the course of a school year, the film confronts bullying’s most tragic outcomes, including the stories of two families who’ve lost children to suicide and a mother who waits to learn the fate of her 14-year-old daughter, incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With rare access to the Sioux City Community School District, the film also gives an intimate glimpse into school busses, classrooms, cafeterias and even principles offices, offering insight into the often-cruel world of children, as teachers, administrators and parents struggle to find answers. It is rated PG-13.
Bully will be shown in select theaters – visit the site to see if there are any theaters near you showing BULLY.
Too many people have their own bully stories. What are your bully experiences, and how have those you know overcome the cruel effects of bullying?
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