Anderson had a young boy, Alex Libby, on his show today that was the target of bullying on his school bus (a situation my JK girl and I are also struggling with). And the beauty of this – if you can imagine any – is that it was recorded.
The daily experiences of Alex and four other students were recorded and made into a movie called “Bully.” According to ABC News, this movie covers the daily struggles that the five students faced – two of which committed suicide… Apparently it will be in theatres at the end of this week – the 30th.
If this seems like a plug for the movie, it’s because it absolutely is. This is such a prevalent issue, and it deserves all the attention and compassion in the world.
I hope “Bully” creates the awareness that the issue needs, so better strategies can be put in place in schools.
Anderson showed some clips of how bullying was being handled by some principles involved – making the victim of physical aggression shake hands with the bully, and reprimanding him because he didn’t show enough enthusiasm, but rather hesitation while doing so…indicating that he was hurting the bully and was now somehow just like him.
Another clip showed the principle referring to the bullying kids as golden during times she was on the bus, as if to discredit the parent’s complaints all together.
In some way I feel surprised and disappointed for the victims and parents. But simultaneously, I’m not surprised after having gone through similar problems.
Two weeks after I complained about the bullying conduct toward my daughter on the school bus, the driver gave her a slip (wrote her up for misconduct, instead of the bully), even though she went up to him with tears in her eyes, telling him the bully just kicked her.
And the principle suggested she might be lying, or that she was the one acting out on the bus because of my assumed reaction to her complaints of being bullied, even though I had witness feedback indicating otherwise.
So, the surprise here isn’t the bullying, but rather the lack of support while dealing with it, which sadly seems all to common, based on other parents I’ve talked to as well, who have experienced these situations too.
I guess that if the victims are blamed or somehow discredited (our principle saw my daughter upset once in her JK class…), they don’t have to deal with the bullying issue anymore. If the victims retreat back into their shells or are somehow silenced, the situation is resolved – goes away - for the authorities that are supposed to be dealing with it.
So, this movie seems to be coming out at a time when we desperately need it. Not only is it reflective of the prevalence of bullying and the impact it’s having on our kids, but also of how poorly the issue is being handled in our schools.
Hopefully, those involved with dealing with this issue - bullies, teachers, principles and others - will be forced to be more accountable (one can always wish…).
I’ve always believed that a little support can go a long way… And I truly hope so in this case. I hope “Bully” brings about the change that’s needed.
I haven’t been to a movie in a long time, and don’t usually feel the desire to do so, until now. I believe this would be money well spent…