My View:  Use 'Bully' to transform schools
April 13th, 2012
06:14 AM ET

My View: Use 'Bully' to transform schools

Courtesy Marilyn MargonBy Sam Chaltain, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Sam Chaltain is a Washington-based writer and education advocate. He can be found on Twitter at @samchaltain.

“Bully”, the new film that opens today in theaters across the country, begins with the image of a heavy-diapered toddler named Tyler, happily staggering across the wet grass in front of his family’s Georgia home.

Moments later, we learn of Tyler’s painful path in the adolescent years that followed - years that were marked by relentless bullying and abuse at school, and years that culminated with his decision to hang himself, in a closet in his family’s home, at the age of 17.

“Bully” is a must-see film because it makes visible one of the most painful, universally kept secrets of our society and our schools: Every one of us has been bullied, and every one of us has bullied someone else.

To underscore this uncomfortable truth, director Lee Hirsch takes us on a visual tour of the most emotionally charged symbols of childhood - yellow school buses, rows of lockers, recess playgrounds - to remind us what can happen there, and what costs we accrue when we characterize the serial cruelty of children as little more than a regrettable “rite of passage.” We hear one boy’s breath quicken as he approaches the bus stop on the first day of school, certain of the abusive treatment that will resume at his expense. We visit a girl in juvenile detention, so desperate to stop a gang of students from berating her daily that she stole her mother’s gun to send a message, once and for all, that she wasn’t going to take it anymore. And we learn about the family whose daughter’s decision to come out as a lesbian resulted in their collective ostracism from the daily lives of their former friends and neighbors.

As powerful as these stories are, they are symptoms, not root causes, of why so many of us are so unkind to each other. Simply put, no one bullies from a position of emotional strength, and too few of our schools are explicitly organized to ensure that children acquire the most valuable gift of all: the ability to feel visible in the world, and the skills and self-confidence they need to be seen and heard - in school and in life - in meaningful, responsible ways.

To catalyze the energy and interest this film will spark, we must not believe our work is done when we wear blue bracelets or enact anti-bullying policies. Instead, we must begin the deeper work of ensuring that every learning environment inAmericais proactively constructed to meet the intellectual, social and emotional needs of its students. And we must evaluate ourselves against that lofty benchmark before all else.

The good news is the recipes for these sorts of environments are all around us. Consider, for example, the Mission Hill School in Boston, a fabulous public school in which young people are encouraged daily to imagine - and empathize with - the viewpoints of others. Consider the overwhelming research suggesting that school climate is the central determining factor for everything from personal safety to intellectual growth. And witness the wealth of evidence-based programs that already exist to help young people develop the strong social and emotional foundation they’ll need to serve as upstanding playmates, students and citizens.

In other words, we don’t lack the know-how to create more supportive learning environments; we lack the collective clarity and will.

Imagine a society in which our sole measures for determining a school’s health weren’t just reading and math scores.  Imagine a national commitment to ensure that all educators acquired the training and expertise they need to create safe environments for children -  the very expertise that was so sorely absent from the toolboxes of many educators in this film.  And imagine a cultural sea change in which we replaced our historic willingness to accept the tractor-beam pull for conformity with a widely shared (and practiced) value that our differences are what make us more, not less, precious to each other.

That’s the sort of response this film deserves. And that’s the best way all of us can honor the memories of young people like Tyler and ensure that their suffering, and our own, was not in vain.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Sam Chaltain.

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Filed under: Bullying • Voices
soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. Skidog75

    Cowardly children grow up to be cowardly adults. Getting bullied builds character. I got my butt whooped numerous times. Guess what? I learned to fight and stand up for myself. Quit raising your children to be doormats.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:30 am |
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    April 16, 2012 at 12:55 am |
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    April 16, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  4. Josie

    Bulling can start in elementry school on up. It doesn't take much to have someone targeted. Many times class mates will stand by and watch, mainly out of fear. Even adults deal with them. I just recently worked with a kid who spent most of his life in gangs. He never got passed middle school. He is controlling, violent, and untrustworthy. He physically and verbally attacked several of us, funny since he is a "hard worker" and he did this when the boss was gone, he was quickly promoted. Two days later, I left. I could see it going down hill fast. I didn't have that option in highschool though. I was physically attacked by a local gang, told if I reported them in then they would go after my family. It went on for a year....that summer one was arrested and her friends had moved. Why you ask? I lived in a small town and had moved to a city, and wasn't sure on how to interact. I was an easy target because I had no friends, and no one wanted to take the chance of becoming a friend with me. Sadly this movie didn't make it to my town (not too surprising). Kids and some adults can be violent to the extreme. The guy I mentioned got into the gangs as such a young age because his own mother was involved, his brothers are still involved and he talks about having his "family" move to the area to "run a business"...which is all illegal.

    April 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Skidog75

      You should've fought back instead of allowing it to go on. You rewarded the bullies by obeying them. You are at fault as much as them. Sorry, but it is true.

      April 16, 2012 at 2:33 am |
  5. almightymoderate

    What bullies don't understand is that those they are bullying can turn on them, and others, in a very violent way. I solved my own problem by lifting weights. Once everyone saw how strong I looked, I ended up being left alone. What did Ronald Reagan say once..."peace through strength"...meaning if you look strong, hopefully, no one will mess with you.

    April 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  6. Alvin Benford

    All over the world, youth are bullied, abused, discriminated against, and in worse cases not even appreciated. In my opinion, I believe that each parent, gaurdian, and mentor needs needs to step up to the plate and fight against BULLYING head on. But most importantly, I think it really starts in the childs home because how do you expect a child to communicate how they are feeling in a healthy way if there invironment that inwhich they live is teaching them negative things all of the time.

    When I was raised up, I was taught to treat people how you want to be treated. That doesn't mean nor does it imply that you hurt another person (physically, mentally, emotionally).

    Parent all over the world need to start fighting back against the negative challenges that are encountered and turn those challenges into positive outcomes, like bullying in our school system. Adults are not excluded either. Adults are bullied just as well as our youth.

    We all want the best for our children. Lets make sure they get the best.

    April 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  7. Cousin Death

    "Every one of us has been bullied, and every one of us has bullied someone else."

    I take EXTREME offense to the second part of that statement. I have NEVER bullied anyone else, although I have been a victim of them and I HATE THEM.

    April 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Naner

      @ "Cousin Death"
      Sometimes we don't realize the bullying we do.

      April 16, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  8. Niffer

    I was bullied all through middle school and high school because of my naturally curly hair – which didn't fit the norm. I couldn't believe others made such a fuss over it. I stood up for myself because I'm no shrinking wallflower. But I was always in trouble for standing up for myself. All the bullies did was make me a mean person!!! Screw all of you bullies! I hope you rot!

    April 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  9. Brandon

    The evolution of man...Has it ever occurred to anyone that some people dont have enough inside them to defend themselves? ..hmmmm. I say we shoot these kids immediately. They are a problem in the gene pool. Wait wait wait, we can't do that. hmmm..What do do what to do? Well violence is the right answer , isnt it? The kid just needs to punch the bully, right. Violence is the answer. Isnt it? Isnt violence the answer to violence? hmmm... "rite of passage", I guess those are the rules. You must go through the "rite of passage." Just like a fraternity haze. Hmmm.. evolution of man. Which way to go, which way to go....I GOT IT, what would JESUS DO? Ironic when you think about the nature of Jesus. Think about it. Now go back to all the posters who think the kids should stop being cry babies and strike a blow. I'm willing to bet they are all 'Christians' amusing..

    April 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • beccab2355

      I'm not sure what you are even arguing for or against...your sarcasm is far too strong to make a point

      April 16, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  10. huh

    i had a bully that tormented me when i was 12. i took it for about 3 months until one day i met him while walking home from school. when i finally finished with him,he never bothered me again. there is not reason a child should be told to turn the other cheek.

    April 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  11. Justathought

    I have an idea. How about when you are lucky enough to be around while a child is little, if it be as a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, caregiver, teach them they are LOVED, and that everyone, no matter how different from them, is special, and worthy of respect and love. And how about if you can't do this simple thing you stay the hell away from small children! Stop bullying before it starts.

    April 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  12. disgusted american parent

    I do not support the idea of raising up a bunch of whiner crybaby kids to be whiner crybaby adults looking for the worlds problems to be solved for them. My god, if anything is said or done anymore that offends a thin skinned crybaby person, someone is looking to prosecute or sue over it. Violence is not acceptable behavior and should be dealt with, however blaming someone else for a persons decision to hurt themselves because they don't like what was said to them is a load of crap. If your so weak minded that your gonna solve a temporary problem by hurting your self, then the gene pool is better off without your weakness diluting it.

    April 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Michael

      You're not very educated, are you? It's ironic you mention a gene pool because your shallowness is what's wrong with many. Ignorance isn't something you should strive for.

      April 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Disgusted English Teacher

      *world's problems
      *person's decision
      *you're so weak
      *you're going to solve

      April 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
      • eileen dover

        tyrone woodfork

        April 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Mary

      Tyipcal thinking of a bully. How many other people did you hurt in school. I bet there's a lot of people out there who remember your name and school photo with hate.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Cousin Death

      Maybe you should admire Seung-Hui Cho. He wasn't a "cry baby," by your standards.

      April 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • beccab2355

      Please...please...make being an american parent so much more annoying...Do you work in an environment where these kids live every single day? Have you been one of these kids? This is not an example of Darwin's survival of the fittest...this is a matter of personal dignity...

      April 16, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Skidog75

      I agree with you 100%. Americans have become a nation of cowards relying on someone else to protect them.

      April 16, 2012 at 2:40 am |
  13. KC

    When my wife and I have children, what I will tell my son/daughter is that when someone says or does something slick, punch them dead in their mouth. Why? Because children are like wolves and will pick on anyone percieved as being weak. Many children have not learned how to be empathetic. They understand fear and pain unfortunately, I would rather have my child be suspended from school for a week and never be bothered again because they know they will catch a hurting or have my child continued to be picked on until they explode and take their own lives or the lives of others. Sometimes, violence is the answer. However, I promise I will never tolerate bullying from my child. But if someone starts it, they better finish it.

    April 15, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Cousin Death

      KC, your strategy might work, but I object to the prison mentality. I hate the "you have to look tough" mentality in school.
      Violence works, but be decisive and quick if you want to end the bullying problem permanently.

      April 15, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  14. Colin

    No offense, but nice chssboard. Looks like something put together by a bettering niger warming up in a boxing ring of stolen ideas and speeches and "origninal thoughts".
    You sure that didn't ceom from the Cabrini Green project, and the TOWELS they threw in?
    Are you sure?
    What idea next that we can use to poliarize and victimize people absolutely OVER either pole of abuse? PAiring the salt with the pepper?

    April 15, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  15. Robert

    I would have to disagree with all of the negativity here. I believe the main point of the article is to present an opportunity to begin educating the masses on the effects of bullying. We are fortunate that these efforts have already existed in both of my children's schools. "Bully Patrol" has given all of the children at their schools the tools to not only identify a bully or a bullying situation, but also how to effectivly stop the situation use a non-violent approach. It amazing and I wish I would have had the opportunity when I was school.

    April 15, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  16. David Bustamante

    It's true that bullying is but a small problem of the many ills in our society. On a personal note, the one thing that I've seen that has caused a true change is a change of heart. When the hearts of our children (and adults) are changed, then these issues will change. And the only one that can truly change our hearts is Jesus Christ and having a personal relationship with Him. He loves you, He died for you, He doesn't want that any should perish but to come to repentance. And He calls us to love one another and serve one another. Now imagine if we truly believed that and put it into practice. Only then will our society change.

    April 15, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  17. wingding

    I'm a bully, you're a bully, woudn't you like to be a bully too.....

    April 15, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • Anne Bradley

      I'm replying to your post because there's no other comment window open. I APPRECIATE THE AUTHOR TRYING TO END BULLYING because it destroys lives (souls if not physics). However, the statement that we have ALL bullied is offensive and UNTRUE. I NEVER BULLIED ANYONE, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME IN MY LIFE. Some of us are decent, considerate adults who were good, honest decent children as well. Let's all do our part to stop bullying.

      April 15, 2012 at 8:29 am |
  18. blackluke8

    I'm curious. Since apparently such a large percentage of the population is a "bully"...I wonder what percentage of the population is a sociopathic, attention-seeking, liar who will do or say anything to be accepted? At the end of the day, people do what they can to achieve social status and power. We have enabled the worst among us to accuse whomever is a "likely" target and then hold hostage the authorities in our school districts for fear of lawsuits. This gives people who otherwise wouldn't have power, power. It's the Salem Witch Trials. God help you if you are a parent today. For me, I will tell me children to punch a bully in the nose, but I will tell them to pummel into oblivion any drama loving liar who attempts to bear false witness.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:34 am |
  19. Daddy2010

    Gays are the biggest bullies ever. Look at Hilton as a perfect example. Look at any fashion report. They are disguise their mean-spiritedness with humor. They very ones who are often claiming insult and *injuries* from being bullied are most often the worst offenders.

    April 14, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Casey

      When was the last time you heard of a straight student committing suicide because a gay student bullied them?

      April 14, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
      • Casey

        The comment below is in response to Daddy2010's post.

        April 14, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
      • blackluke8

        No, straight students just react with violence and end up in jail.

        April 15, 2012 at 2:27 am |
  20. Brain_Trust

    Reading through many of the 'insights' here makes me think we need MORE BULLYS not less. You bullied are taking this to another level which indicates your inadequate ways of dealing with people who are more superior than you have you projecting this lack onto others. grow up sissys

    April 14, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • failtroll

      Fail Troll is Fail

      April 14, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  21. Brain_Trust

    This BULLY campaign is designed to BULLY the BULLIES so where's the evolution ?

    April 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  22. Dave

    Schools need to be less tolerant of bullying, and it's sad they simply won't be. Here's how bullying usually works, and why people don't want to stop it:

    Bully waits til victim is alone, so he can bully victim without anyone witnessing it. Victim tells authority, Bully is "bullying" and it turns into he-said-she-said stupidity and now the victim gets in just as much trouble as the bully.

    So now Bully has just gotten away with it, the Victim got no where, has now been shown standing up to bullying doesn't work and to simply pis off, and so now Bully retaliates because 1) he already just got away with it, and 2) he was just tattled on.

    So how should parents really prepare their children for this reality? Karate? The only option is to make your child less likely to be victimized. What kind of bs is that? In my school experience growing up, white kids picking on minority was just about a hate crime, but public schools wouldn't really discipline blacks or mexican kids for picking on whites for fear their parent's might sue for the school for racism. Race based bullying in school is probably offender number 1 in alot of schools around the country, and public schools are too scared to say anything about it.

    April 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  23. Brad

    Yes! Everyone learn martial arts – better yet – let our students carry weapons to school! It's been my experience that many of the "martial arts" students are the biggest offenders when it comes to bullying in school.

    April 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Mary

      Yes, I agree! Let's everyone carry Uzi's everywhere and all the time. That worked out great for Treyvon.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Jeff

      Brad, your either a liar or you live near a McDojo. The only 'bullies' (punks) I'VE run into that have training in 'martial arts' have come from McDojo's, they most likely have only been training (the basics) for a few months and they want to test out their skills and they don't have the balls to spar so they search for someone they can beat up.

      April 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  24. kay

    'Bully' won't change anything. Bullies will just laugh at it and it won't tell victims anything they don't already know. Does anyone seriously think bullies don't know the pain they cause? Of course they do, and they LOVE it. And adults can't do much about it. There have been anti-bullying laws for years and nothing has changed. 'Bully' is nothing but a way for schools to take a quick and easy way out of the problem – "Oh, we'll just show 'Bully' and then nobody can say we didn't do anything." Schools already have to deal with massive budget problems, teacher layoffs, skyrocketing class sizes,and gun and drug problems. They can't be cops, too. Kid know telling adults is useless because all the bully's parents have to do is say "My kid didn't do anything wrong and I'll sue if you don't stop this" and that's the end of it.

    The best thing schools can do is teach self defense and martial arts.

    April 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Steve

      I love the messenger but hate the message because I think you're right. And for the commentator Anne B. above; in a bigger more general sense of "bullying", if you never put yourself in harms way between a bully and a bullied in an attempt to protect them (i.e. stood by idle and neutral), then you my friend were part of the epidemic and lumped in the class of being a bully.

      April 15, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  25. kenhbradshaw

    Let's teach reading, writing and arithmetic. You can't have bullying, but lets keep the focus on education.

    April 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  26. NorCalMojo

    Hire a few retired drill sergeants as teachers. They know how to handle troubled kids.

    We had an Vietnam vet auto shop teacher that had every bad kid in the school eating out of his hands. He had a limp, a metal plate in his head, and called every one of us "Rodney". We loved and respected him.

    April 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  27. NorCalMojo

    This is starting to look like a educational-industrial complex boondoggle.

    Is this really how we want our education system to spend their resources?

    If it's a good movie, people will watch it on it's own merits.

    April 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  28. bobo

    Solution: put your kids into Martial Arts classes; give them some self-respect and self-confidence. Bullies are cowards – one good punch in the teeth and they will leave your kid alone. I don't have children, but if I did, they would start taking Martial Arts in their early years.

    April 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  29. Easternsailor

    Bully is made u anger! Our God The Giave Almighty say, I AM your God And I AM Slow To Anger! But we r only human and we r always need The Help From The Lord Jesus Christ! Near to the End of Time, the Evil Doers is always bully and make u angry and make u get depress and kill u and it said, u kill yourself as the parents u feel very painful ! And your children lose their souls and now it happen all over the world ! As it has happened in Scranton, PA and the mother of the teenager cried, No Cash for Kids ! If I were in your! I should pray harder to the Lord Jesus and His Holy Mother Mary and I never lose my soul and my children as well !

    April 14, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • machipongo john

      Word salad.

      April 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  30. rika33

    Yes – lets start calling them "hens" instead of boys and girls and teach them never to recognize any differences between people. Soon enough we'll be living in a model society where any deviation can be rooted out from the gene pool.

    April 14, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  31. Zepp

    Bullying is the worst, I agree. Everyone has done it? Absolutely not! Some of us, myself included, have known our whole lives that picking on other people is wrong. Since being bullied the first time at the age of 4, I've had the personal insight to know how it hurts and NEVER do it to someone else. And I am absolutely sure I'm not the only one. The author is just wrong.

    April 14, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Christopher Hudson

      I agree completely Zepp. I was bullied from third grade until the middle of 10th, by the same group of sick jerks. I get so ill when I hear the "Everyone has bullied someone"! I was raised to be a decent human, and was if anything protective of anyone *else* who was pushed around. I may have done many foolish things, but I have never been a jerk!

      April 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Naner

      @ Zepp:

      Bullying is more than just picking on someone. It can be emotional manipulation, purposeful avoidance or isolation of others, etc. Sometimes we don't recognize the bullying we do for what it is, so unless you are sure, I mean REALLY sure, no action of yours has ever had an unintentional negative impact on someone else, I'd be really careful bragging about how not a bully you are.

      April 16, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  32. tcat117

    This whole anti-bullying thing is a great idea but will ultimately have little effect. You can change policies but bigger humans have been beating up smaller humans since we crawled out of our caves, it is perhaps one of the most deeply ingrained parts of our human nature, and it takes a lot more than a sad movie to change something that big.

    April 14, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  33. bob

    simple solution. Expel all the bullies. It's an easy problem to fix, there are probably 50 real bad bullies in the school, the admins know who they are by name, just expel them all immediately, problem solved. Anyone else who starts bullying kids, expel them too. The reason is simple: in a job, if you just ran up and punched your coworkers, you'd be fired. so why not do the same in schools?

    April 14, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • kay

      Because the parents of the bullies would fight back and threaten to sue, and the schools wouldn't have the resources or will to deal with it because they have a hundred other problems to fix, so they'd just drop the whole thing.

      Sounds nice in theory but it would never work in reality.

      April 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
      • kiki

        I am a parent and I agree. Over the years I have found that the parents of bullies are often bullies themselves and are complicit in the behaviour.

        April 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  34. floyd hoover

    I suggest putting security cameras in all common areas at school and on buses , images on security tapes are strong evidence and can be shown to parents of bullies that don't believe their child is capable of bullying. Schools will have no problem enforcing rules that they can prove have been broken...Most bullying accusations are a " he said she said" situation and the school can do nothing even when they want to.
    I was a school attendance officer for 10 years in Michigan and I know first hand that much truancy is due to bullying and the results of it . When a student misses many days and falls behind the class , he is destined to fail if parents can't afford private tutoring or parochial school

    April 14, 2012 at 6:23 am |
  35. elizabeth

    Bullying takes a terrible toll on kids of all ages. I see it among the 7th graders with whom I work, and I instantly intervene – "sticks and stones may break bones, but words can wound forever" is the rhyme I learned as a young person. It's true. Too many people say, "oh, kids need to toughen up" or other nonsense. These people have little realization of the severity of the problem, or the damage bullying does. Schools really need to take this more seriously – our middle school set up a "mediation" program. Problem is, mediation is NOT appropriate when one party is being abused by the other – as in bullying! When I pointed this out, the counselor got defensive and claimed it worked, but student surveys said it was USELESS. Kids said they wanted help from a teacher or principal to intervene to stop the bullying, and they wanted help from peers to report bullies and intervene.

    April 14, 2012 at 6:09 am |
  36. Jeff

    Ugh society today... we are so skewed up. The schools are s*** and the administrators idiots, they have 'zero tolorance' policies which they fail to enforce. If the schools fail to meet their obligations to protect students they cannot get mad if a student fights back good for them you have the right to defend yourself and when the school tries to discipline the child tell them to lawyer up because 90% of the time they will p**** out and back down. The United States Education System is a big joke and once i figured that out i decided not to take s*** from anyone. I am not a bully, I'm the quiet kid who doesn't talk and doesn't mess with anyone.

    NOBODY IS GOING TO STAND UP FOR YOU, YOU HAVE TO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF! All previous suggestions to stop bullying are great ideas but they will never work MAKE YOUR KID BULLYPROOF! put LIL' JIMMY in Muay Thai and he / she will know they can deal with whatever is put in front of them (as long as they have a good coach and they take their training seriously) * Muay Thai is the best style of stand up fighting because it doesn't use flashy meaningless movements like Kung Fu and Taekwondo. I've been doing Muay Thai for 9 years and i teach people, several of my students had issues with bullies and within 3-4 months they no longer had bullying problems.... i can't wait to hear some negative feedback.

    April 14, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      I'm pretty sure Krav Maga can kick Muay Thai's a$$.

      April 14, 2012 at 5:23 am |
      • Jeff

        Joxer i fight for sport and Krav Maga has no application in the world of Combat Sports so you can't really compare the two very well. But id be interested in seeing how i would do against a Krav Maga practicioner if they agreed not to try to gouge my eyes out. Brad. Brad. Brad. I am not part of the problem, if anything i force some bullies to go back to talking s*** behind others backs. Im 5'11" 140 lbs which is your stereotypical build for a bully / trouble maker. Obviously you are higher then a kite because knocking just 1 bully on their ass has accomplished more then all you damn liberal hippies have accomplished in the last 10 years! Brad bullying has grown into such a problem because of people like you who are scared of violence.


        – Rosa Parks
        – 9-11 (That got our attention)
        – Arab Spring
        – Civil Rights Movement
        – Boston Tea Party
        – Montgomery Bus Boycott
        -Tiananmen square tank man

        April 14, 2012 at 7:10 am |
      • Brad

        Way to go Jeff. You fight for sport – pretty telling if you ask me. Further, you attempt to intimidate others by using all caps to make a point. You're right, your actions do speak louder than words.

        April 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Brad

      Way to go Jeff – be the tough guy!! YOU and people who think and actlike you are the problem my friend. Why not put your fists down and start actually making a difference in society? Why not help to actually solve the problem?

      April 14, 2012 at 5:49 am |
    • Nikki

      I'm all for teaching kids to defend themselves, but unfortunately, the kids who are being bullied are those with softer personalities to begin with... kids like this often truly don't want to hurt other people, in addition, the bullies have power over these kids! You don't just one day stand up to someone you think has power over you. It comes with time. You can't get irritated with kids for not wanting to stand up for themselves and possibly make the bullying escalate! It isn't lack of knowledge of self defense that is the problem... that implies that the victims of bullies are to blame! The problem is bullies are generally a bunch of Eddie Haskells (polite in front of adults and little s**ts as soon as they think no one is looking). Putting cameras up is often something I hear mentioned a lot... the bullying will move (deeper) into the bathroom... can't put cameras there. Part of the solution is to get teachers out of their classrooms and into the hallways or on the playground... have a presence! And not just one or two... put them all out there if needed! Doing just that won't solve the problem alone, but it will certainly help...

      April 15, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  37. I want to hunt my bully down

    I remember this guy named Randy Carter, he use to live in Colton, CA in the 1980s and I would like to see where he ended up after many years of him and his buddies tormenting me in High School. I could barely walk to my class without getting picked on and pushed around for no reason whatsoever. I understand the feeling of anxiety and know what it's like to fail classes when the bully or his buddies are making it difficult to learn. If anybody could please point me to this putz, I have a score to settle! The sooner the better. If he's dead, I'll catch up to him in hell. In the meantime, I have bullets.

    April 14, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • Tis Tis Tis

      Its unfortunate we're bullied however, I guess you're going to blame bullies for not getting laid in high school or not having a hot date for prom?? Its incredible you're holding a grudge from the 1980's.

      April 15, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Cousin Death

      Hey, calm down and think before you act.

      There is a website (might be unsafe, though, so have a good antivirus) that is called whitepages . net or . com. It helps you find people and reconnect with family, friends, etc.

      April 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  38. Murhunter

    It's sad how this film is unrated because of it's content. Life isn't sunshine and lollipops. The MPAA needs to get a new set of rules if it's going to keep running. Besides that rant there this film should be shown in schools. I don't think anything strikes kids harder than seeing and hearing how bad bullying is.

    April 14, 2012 at 1:33 am |
  39. Big J

    I've got an idea....Why don't we all pledge to become UPSTANDERS rather than simple bystanders whenever and wherever we see intolerance and abuse of another human being?

    April 14, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • elizabeth

      Awesome idea. We are trying to teach our middle school kids to step in and say "that's not cool; you need to stop it" when they see/hear bullying and to report it to a teacher, counselor, administrator, or other adult for follow-up. It's a SLOW, SLOW process of trying to change a culture that tolerates this behavior and discourages "tattling" as uncool.

      April 14, 2012 at 6:13 am |
  40. Irene

    YES...movies like this should have been shown in all schools as a learning tool! Why is it taking so long...and how many children have to commit suicide before we as a something about it! It seems as if there is nothing but talking...and no laws are made...and there are NO consequences for bullies bad behavior!!!

    April 13, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  41. boredofceleb

    Forget the movie. Here's the solution. Schools should crack down on these bullies with new laws. THREE STRIKES FOR BULLIES. Upon the third offense, the kid is expelled from the public school system PERMANENTLY, and forced to be home-schooled, thereby MAKING it the parents' problem, whether the parents like it or not. New Law: Schools Will NOT tolerate bullying!

    April 13, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  42. Anonymous

    We live in a small town and the bullies are the teachers kids and the athletes. Both are pets in the school system. I grew up with these kid's parents and the apple does not fall far from the tree. Bullies grow up to have bullies of their own.

    April 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • elizabeth

      Interestingly, people who are bullied are likely to become bullies if they can find someone upon whom to take out their aggression. Sad, huh? You would think they'd empathize and never "do unto others" but that does not seem to be the case. They look for someone weaker than themselves to pick on.

      April 14, 2012 at 6:16 am |
  43. Riq

    As kids we all experience some hurtful meanness from other kids (and adults). The author stated that we have all been bullied and that we have also all done the bullying. While it’s true we’ve all been mean to others at some point, what was shown in this movie went beyond any resemblance of normal meanness. What this movie showed was daily mental and physical abuse. Not everyone has experienced that. Not everyone has inflicted that on others.
    While this movie isn’t going to eliminate the problem, it is helping by educating other bullied kids and showing them they’re not so different after all. It’s educating the parents of the bullies and the parents of the bullied. Hopefully they’ll recognize the things that the parents in the film are doing right and what they’re doing wrong. Some of the parents in the movie, you want to bully for not supporting their kid adequately! It’s also responsible for getting people to discuss the issue illustrating both concern and ignorance in the matter. The movie diffuses the shame for these bullied kids and I believe that will save some lives.

    April 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  44. Jill

    A way that a kid can stand up to a bully non-violently...
    My son was bullied by a boy on the bus who lived in our neighborhood. He called him all sorts of names and berated him constantly. One day my son had enough. He took out his cell phone and turned on the video camera without the bully knowing. He captured enough audio and video footage that he stopped it, put it away, and turned to the bully and said, "I've had enough! I just recorded what you were doing and I'm taking it to your parents." The kid's face sunk...he knew he'd been caught. The kids got off the bus, went home and confessed to the crime before my son ever took the video to the parents. The mom and dad escorted the son to our house and he apologized for his behavior. The bully was trying to impress the popular kids by bullying my son...what a shame. We never had any more problems with the bully. Kids, get out your cell phones and help expose bullying!!

    April 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • umm

      Slight problem. What if the bully fights him for it? Steals it? Breaks it?

      April 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • A LIttle Smarts

      That's kinda smart too. I mean, who doesn't have a phone these days? Everyone from an 8-year old to a 80-year old has a phone. But what would you suggest if the bully trashes your phone? Oh well, problem for another parent.

      April 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      I'm surprised that worked. The bully's I grew up with would have grabbed the cell phone and broken it.

      April 14, 2012 at 5:27 am |
    • elizabeth

      Kudos to your kid. He's got some brains, and some chutzpah. Way to go!

      April 14, 2012 at 6:18 am |
  45. nytw

    Why do Obama and his liberal drones think they have the right to tell everyone what movie we should go see?

    April 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Casey

      When did Obama tell you what movie you should go and see?

      April 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Tex Gritter

      Because they have been forming "public" opinion for 40 or 50 years. The liberals, not just Obama, have been picturing themselves as the driving force of decency and propriety (God help us) for more than half a century. The deeper they delve into the lives of the everyday people, the more eternally screwed-up the Country becomes. I hope to the Good Lord we can rid this Country of an insidious cancer come this November election.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
      • US CITIZEN

        Bullying is not a conservative or liberal problem. It is a parenting problem. If you let kids bully others, they MIGHT grow up to be wife-beaters or violent felons. What does the President or other politician have to do with this film? Come on. Please. Stop making this political. Again, this is about parenting, schooling and kids.

        April 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • mkh

        Since when did this become and liberal/conservative problem. How many more things can you blame Obama for? Earthquakes???? Tornado's.... Jeez, I'm so sick of people turning everything into their own agenda. A bully is a bully is a bully. Not because Obama was elected president or it's the "liberals" who started it. Grow up and become a solution to the problem and not a part of it.

        April 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
      • ode2

        I'm so tired of people like you bringing politics into every conversation. This subject has NOTHING to do with politics. Please stop being a broken record.

        April 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • QS

      Why do conservatives, unbidden, try to prevent any and all things that might promote compassion, empathy and co-existence?

      April 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
      • Tex Gritter

        Because we have RIGHTS, too.

        April 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
      • Terri

        QS, good question

        April 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
      • ?

        you sound like a bully.

        April 14, 2012 at 12:11 am |
      • Brad

        I am a conservative and I fully support this movie and all efforts to stop bullying. This is not a liberal / conservative issue, no matter how hard some people try to make it one. This has nothing to do with religion either. This has to do with simple respect for one another. You don't have to like anyone – but you also don't need to go out and try to harm people by word or deed. THAT is something children should be learning at home from their parents – I believe this issue is a result of poor (or no) parenting.

        April 14, 2012 at 5:54 am |
      • blackluke8

        Because conservatives recognize liberal "compassion" for what it is. Pathetic words that don't mean anything in the real world, and serve only to placate the stupid liberal emotive drive. Liberals make me utterly sick to my stomach.

        April 15, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • Tex Gritter

      Because they have been forming "public" opinion for 40 or 50 years. The liberals, not just Obama, have been picturing themselves as the driving force of decency and propriety (God help us) for more than half a century. The deeper they delve into the lives of the everyday people, the more eternally screwed-up the Country becomes. I hope to the Good Lord we can rid this Country of an insidious cancer come this November election. I surely hope so, anyway.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
      • boredofceleb

        You have just repeated yourself twice, Tex. Dementia setting in perhaps?

        April 13, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • John

      What is wrong with you?

      April 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Terri

      I take it you condone bullying or believe it is just "what kids do".

      April 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
      • blackluke8

        Nobody condones bullying. But people with good sense recognize that the best, quickest, and most natural retribution for a bully is for the bullied to stand up for themselves. Not hide behind the skirt of their mommy, or "lawyer up" so as to deprive kids that have nothing to do with it the public resources of the district. Bottom line. If you are too pitiful to either a.) shake off the treatment or b.) do something about it yourself, you are in fact a p@@sy and deserve whatever you get.

        April 15, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • brian

      Wow. No matter who you are, or where you've been in social hierarchy, if you're an adult and don't understand the impact of bullying from both sides, I feel sorry for you. Those that believe that the 'bullied are whiners', 'everybody's bullied', 'it's a normal part of life', or my favorite "your either a bully or bullied" you are sadly ignorant about bullying much in the way that some still refuse to believe the scientific evidence about global warming.Those that don't understand the many bullies look back on their bully career with guilt and remorse when they grow up are sadly mistaken. Those bullies that don't have these feelings are (not to generalize) usually in jail. So, nice work all you people defending bullying by implying this is a media issue or the meek minority trying to take a basic right of passage of the strong vs. the weak and turn it into a liberal media misrepresentation. If you're in that camp than I bet you're still a bully. How do you like yourself now? Some facts. Roughly 13 million teens in the U.S. are involved in bullying, either as a bully, a victim or both (there's only 50 million kids in school in the U.S) equating to 2 out of ten childrenl. In addition to causing victims to feel afraid and tense, bullying can affect academic performance, school attendance and self-esteem. Many teens have committed suicide, reportedly because of relentless attacks by bullies. Even as adults, victims of bullying suffer from higher levels of depression and low self-esteem than other adults. Also, studies show that bullies themselves are headed down a dangerous path. They are at high risk for violence, anti-social behavior, legal trouble and drug or alcohol addiction. To imply this isn't a real problem, at best, shows your lack of knowledge about this pervasive problem. Oh, and no, I do not have memories of being bullied.

      April 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  46. CommonSense

    "If you really want everyone to see this and have real motivation to stop bullying why don't you just release it for free out on the web?" -South Park

    Trey and Matt are more right than we true!

    April 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  47. CR


    Anyone that saw the ep knows what I mean. It should be noted that while South Park exposed the hypocrisy related to the issue it also brought to light the Anti Bullying movement as a whole and thus promoted it.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • government cheese

      What was the name of the episode?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Terri

      Southpark is satire...should we take "The Onion" seriously too?

      April 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  48. Randy

    This movie, no matter how well done or how touching, will not change a single bully.

    If bullies had compassion, which they would need to realize the pain they inflict and the effect it has on their victims, they would not be bullies in the first place.

    April 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • bigdil

      You are, unfortunately, 100% correct. Contrary to what the supposed "experts" are trying to sell these days, there is absolutley no way to prevent bullying other than to punish/banish the bully and accomplices when instances of bullying can be reliably identified. The notion that there is a non-bullying "climate" that can be established in a school is completely without any real, tangible or measurable evidence to support it. The supposed "evidence" is nothing more than the judgment-laden rhetoric used to blame schools for bullying. As usual, there are always those who will claim to have solved a problem simply by picking a scapegoat to blame it on. Our schools didn't create bullying and can't be expected to eliminate it. Bullying is, unfortunately, an ugly side to basic human nature.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
      • P.

        While the conclusion you make is understandable, I don't think that removing bullies drive out the school system. As someone pointed out, the reason why bullies bully is because they are insecure.
        In the end, the self-security of a child should be ensured by their parents. If children's family life were not broken, or the children were taught these lessons at home, then the children would not bully.
        Bullying also happens when children don't egt enough discipline, especially when they're at home.

        It's best to treat the symptom (the reason why children become bullies), not the disease (the horrible effects of bullying).
        Unfortunately, the government can't do this as well as they like... pity, isn't it?

        April 14, 2012 at 12:31 am |
      • P.

        ^I realize my first sentence doesn't make sense at all. Oops.
        What about..."I don't think the best way to get rid of bullies is to drive them out of the school system."

        April 14, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • boredofceleb

      Since bullies are incapable of empathy or compassion, perhaps we can label them as future sociopaths in the making.

      April 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
      • P.

        So many kids have bullied. If they are all sociopaths-in-the-making, then I seriously fear for our society.

        April 14, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  49. sonnyofthemeek

    Bullies will exist as long as people fail to Stand Together

    By: Sonny Rice

    Bullies will exist as long as people fail to Stand Together. There is no place in America that the bullies outnumber the normal people. The bully exists because the world is full of cowards. We are afraid of being sued or arrested or saddest of all bothered to come to the aid of another. Gangs exist in our schools and streets because today’s parents fail to keep their own out of such groups. No child can become a member if its parents or guardians forbid it, and follow up by being aware of what they’re doing on a daily basis. Every American has the chance to put a stop to this once and for all. Stand together and help one another be strong. The laws need to be harder on all that think against society, no matter their age or location. The arguments, excuses don't cut it in the real world as we can all see today. No one for any reason has a right to harm another either verbally or physically. Children are not the only victims of bulling, it exists in the work place and homes, and the streets of our country. I can only add that many of us have had problems and hardships, obstacles in our way, yet no harm have we done. Life was given us all equally with no price to pay. We each in our own little worlds and our own unique way never sought to harm another, while blaming another or something akin as an excuse. I wrote once that excuses were like passing gas, they sound different yet has that one undeniable common link, they all stink.

    To really get out there and do something to actually help each other would require very little if you weren’t alone. One person can make a difference in the lives of every American, if not the world. It takes time to build up strength of body as well as mind. Strength has been said to come in numbers, or so I have been told. The numbers seem to be shifting between the good and the sad, proof that American’s must now and forever stand together.

    If our past is behind us, and of this I feel safe to say we all believe, then what have we learned. Has there ever been a time we as a people have failed to stand up for another in some foreign land. To rise up their people and free them of oppression. Then why within our great republic are its citizens suffering, and feeling alone and helpless. Hunger and poverty are things we lead the outside in vanquishing in their homelands. Then again I ask each of you why our nation under God is growing into third world conditions. We are homeless, poverty stricken, preyed upon by our own.

    We have it all if you ask any foreign citizen. Many of them don‘t stand together. Some whole cultures gone forever. I never want to see America become anything but the shining future we have provided for so many of them. My country has always had my heart, now she needs my hand and yours. She’s looking for America‘s Citizen‘s, not some gang or group or club or party. The people that shaped this mighty country’s offspring and new proud citizen’s who chose to join us every day, still breathe today. Alone and scared too often to speak of their fears. The problems they face shouldn’t exist in this age or in this Country. America is thought as the land of life to those with no future in their own land. My last question is why have we lost another citizen at the hands of our own people, and would you have stood with her and saved another’s life. You can e-mail me an answer or do something real for a change. If the Army doesn’t mind I’d like you to think about being all that you can be, except instead of their Army strong, I’d ask you to be American strong. No ones ever defeated us before from with out our blessed land, let it not be from within.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • thizz


      April 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Tex Gritter

      Hello, Sonny. Good writing. However, we have to be careful exactly what it is that the Ultra-Left is referencing when they speak of "Bullying." If we aren't careful, we may very well find ourselves without the right to have a dissenting opinion on any of the issues. This door swings BOTH ways, I think. Tyranny could also come on us from the extreme Right, as well. God bless America, Our Home sweet Home.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
      • umm

        Dissenting opinions and bullying are quite different, but I can see why someone would be nervous.

        April 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  50. Kelly

    And a big LOL to CW for dumbest comment of the day. you are right, the next time my son gets gang jumped or gets his property set on fire or is afraid to leave the house i should tell him "well, son, the people in Syria are all i care about because they are going through a hard time so i cant worry about parenting you right now i am boarding the next flight to Homs. They need a mommy more than you." Good Lord man what is wrong with your brain?? And do you know how much any of the posters on here know of world affairs? they are obviously on CNN....however this a bullying story not a political or Syria story so why are you wasting time on this forum if that is so important to you? for goodness sake man get on the next flight to Syria and DO SOMETHING!

    April 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  51. Kelly

    And how do you teach 1 child to fight against 7 children to "stand up for themself"?? Here's an example... 7 children on a playground kicking and beating one child. The 1 child pushes one bully away from him as he is punching him. That 1 child is now suspended for pushing....yes great solution. That sounds like a solution for lazy people who don't want to go up to the school and make them take of business that they are mandated by law to take care of because they are too busy lazing around on the couch.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  52. Sage

    Karen, Your point of view fascinates me. But in the end, it's just an indication of you missing the point. I can speak on what is was like to be bullied in grade school – I was a victim. But I grew up, got an education and pursued my dreams. It is part of my past that made me who I am today. I never paint myself as a victim today because I am no longer. The subject of bullying touches my heart because I have been there. There is hope for those who suffer at the hands of such misguided children.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Brian

      If you think you are going to legislate or create a world where the weak don't fall prey to the strong then you are disillusion. Dominance is as much a part of the human condition as love, war, hate, or joy. Some of you people need to grow up and face realities. Raise your kids to have some backbone and a little gumption, they will be fine!

      April 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • NeoGraphix

        You're an idiot!

        April 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
      • Brad

        I certainly hope that you grow up soon and stop accepting the unacceptable. I also hope that you never find anyone who you are close to hanging in the basement from their belt because you stood by and simply told them to grow up.

        April 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
      • Randy

        Yeah! Who cares if the bully has 50lbs and muscle vs a skinny kid who has trouble lifting 15 lbs b/c he's not as developed!

        April 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
      • mkh

        Brian, I second Neographix comment. You are an idiot. If there were belts for idiots, you would be a 10th degree blackbelt in idiocy. You're clueless.

        April 13, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
      • boredofceleb

        You ARE just trying to provoke dissent here, right?

        April 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  53. KMHan

    I am amazed at the number of people telling teachers to stop parenting and do their job. Believe me, we would love to.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • mmi16

      Teachers could do the job of teaching if parents would only do the job of parenting. Way, way too many 'parents' think the job of raising their children is the teachers job once the kids reach school age.

      April 14, 2012 at 4:54 am |
  54. Sage

    Great article! It seems that everyone has been bullied. It's popular now to say you were bullied. No one wants to be called out as THE BULLY. I say let's hear from the bullies! What makes them tick? How do we de-program this inherent meanness? I wonder how my 6th grade bully feels hearing all this talk of how reprehensible their actions are. I know my bully remembers all the trips we both made to the principals office only to hear that all too familiar rhetoric of "you girls have to learn to get along." The only thing I could have done done differently was not exist. From what I have heard, my 6th grade bully is still a bully at 46 in the workplace. Very sad for those around her.

    April 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Karen

      @Sage – Why are you still concerned about your bully? Your comment makes me think you are quite delusional about who the actual bully was. You are the one following her life at 46 and gloating about her so-called personality failure. GROW UP! I'm guessing you weren't bullied, you were just disliked.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
      • Sage

        wow Karen! You sound just like my small town teachers and principal. You don't want to think about the problem nor hear anyone else express how it effected them. I guess that's great advice. Just get over it. Very insightful.
        Maybe this is why there is now a movie about bullying. It creates dialogue and sheds light on the views people have about it.

        April 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
      • Karen

        @Sage – It's just so tiring hearing people gloat about others' misfortunes (especially 30+ years later) and then still paint themselves as a victim...

        April 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
      • Karen

        The one who may have been bullied as a child is now the bully as an adult.

        April 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
      • Jamie B.

        I have read both posts and sorry Karen.... you seem to be a bully yourself. I saw /read no "gloating" as you put it. Maybe she struck a cord??????

        April 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
      • Stacey

        I think you're missing the point. The very fact that Sage is still talking about and reflecting on what happened to her in 6th grade, shows the impact bullying can have, even many years later.

        The bully needs to be examined too, because I would bet their behavior is a learned one — and they're just repeating the cycle — just like so many other dysfunctional behaviors!

        April 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
      • luke

        See, all this above just goes to show people will always bicker with one another or "bully." Sage and Karen arguing about nonsense then Jamie B. jumps in for also no reason at all. Even adults, especially women, like to push people around.

        April 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Randy

      Sage, wondering about the person who made your life miserable for long periods of your development is normal for the victim, not the bully. The bully moves on, the victim relives it whenever they see a similar situation, or are put into the situation. You need to understand that, to understand the effects of bullying.

      I am 43 and still relive the bullying I went through for 6 years in grade school, and from time to time I think about those bullies and wonder what THEIR lives are like, since they inflicted this lasting pain on me.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  55. CW

    Yes, waste another day that could better be spent teaching on a video that will never stop a single bully. No wonder our kids cannot spell or add. Too many people are placing their agenda in front of the kids education. Only a naive person would think this movie will stop or even reduce bullying.

    April 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Perspective

      At the very least it will provide a perspective that others have not seen before.

      I don't see how an entire day could be wasted reading this article or watching the movie.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
      • Randy

        Unfortunately, you cannot force someone to see what perspective they are actually coming from, and perspective will not change a bully – them understanding and having compassion will. And a movie isn't going to change it.

        Not saying watching this is a waste of time – it will probably help VICTIMS understand they are not alone (which is prevalent with bullying victims), but it will not change a single bully.

        April 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • eelseeeeeeeee


      April 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
      • eelseeeeeeeee

        Oooops, that agree was for CW.

        April 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • KMHan

      You're right. We spend way too much time having to go back and teach students behavior skills that they should have been taught by their parents in the first place. It does take away from academic time. But unfortunately, it is impossible to teach a kid who cannot behave so you must first teach them to behave in order for them to actually learn anything.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Brad

      So let's not do anything – is that your message?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  56. Artanis

    "Every one of us has been bullied, and every one of us has bullied someone else." What? I have never been bullied in my life, and I have never bullied anyone else. In fact, I have never even seen bulling first hand. Sure this is a widespread issue, but it's not a UNIVERSAL issue...

    April 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  57. jowl

    there is no need to show this in shools. we live in an on-demand society now. anyone who wants to see this movie can simply rent it.

    remember, if they were to show this in all the schools, taxpayers would foot the bill for it. you can be certain it wouldnt be shown for free!

    April 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • QS

      I would gladly pay for that.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • mk

      I would like to think that any taxpayers dollars would be well spent if it could save the life of ONE CHILD..

      April 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  58. Dave

    @Kelly I am so glad that you are such a great advocate for your child. I hope things start to go better for him soon! I will say a prayer for emotional healing for your child and a prayer that the bullies involved will find their emotional healing as well as they wouldn't do these things if they werent hurting inside someway themselves. Good luck and God bless!

    April 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  59. tallenwinn

    If darkness wins the tug of war, all will be lost. Dale Thomas Jackson faces this fear everyday of his life;
    until now he has faced it alone. Dark Thirty, my new novel via Prose Press deals one bullying as 16 year old Dale moves to a new school to take on a new horde of tormentors. In my day, bullying was verbal abuse, name calling, possibly a black eye of bloody nose. Death was not part of the equation. Today the bullies have stepped up their game leading to the bullied fighting back, too often with deadly intent or taking their own lives. Wake up America. This is a serious issue and remember, Bullies, WE know who you are.

    April 13, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  60. Jane

    This is not the type of movie that should be shown in schools. I have a hard time watching the commercials, I couldn't imagine being forced to watch it in school as a child victim of bullying. Those being bullied knows how it feels. It doesn't need to be re-hashed in front of their entire school. Forcing children to watch this is not only fascist, but it could cause SEVERE psychological trauma to the victims being forced to confront their demons in front of all of their peers. Forcing children to watch this once again victimizes the children – in the effort to stop the bullies, the author of this article is advocating for repeat harm for the victims. Shame on you!

    April 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Dan

      jane your an idiot.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • Lemarch

        Dan, you're an awful speller. The 'your' in your message is supposed to be a conjunction of 'you are', which is why it is spelled 'you're'. If you're going to be a jerk to someone, at least spell your nasty message correctly. My guess is that you also are a bully.

        April 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • David

      I think you are totally missing the point. The movie is not for the bullied. It is for the bully. The goal is to teach a little empathy to those children who seem not to have any and think that it's perfectly OK to amuse themselves by making someone else's life miserable on a daily basis. Bullies need to see this movie. Once you are forced to confront the consequences of the harm you are inflicting, unless you are a sociopath, inflicting that harm gets a lot harder to justify, especially to yourself.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
      • Jane

        David – However, people forget that when the bullies watch this in school, so will the victims. School is not the place to force these child victims to confront their demons, a therapeutic and SAFE setting is. Unless you separate the bullies and victims (which is impossible as it would then be stigmatizing and victimizing the bullies), victims will also be seeing this if schools force them to watch and, again, schools should not be forcing child victims to confront what traumatizes them, that's not their place, nor is it the right place.

        April 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
      • Stacey

        David – Excellent points! Finally someone who's making sense on here! I almost have to stop reading these, it's infuriating!

        April 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Sarah

      Dan's comment proves bullying is still alive and well.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • karen

      You are exactly the problem with parents today, what has happened to parenting. First if it is going to bother these children so much, have them stay home when the school plans on playing the movie. I for one would love for my child to see this. I have always told my children to treat people the way they want to be treated and to stand up for for what they think is right. You see bullying going on, put yourself in the victims shoes, and speak up, as you would hope someone would do for you. My heart breaks for all these young kids who can;t seem to find a way out, and for the parents who didn't know how to handle it or didn;t think it was as serious as it was. Bullying is no longer simply name calling, a push or a shove. If you grew up in the 70s or most of the 80's, we were all bullied at one time. I am curious though, how were we so different from the children today or is it the bully is more relentless than back then?

      April 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • willy

      You speak as if victims and bullies are 2 seperate groups they are one and the same, just at different time frames.

      April 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  61. Frank Sinatra

    Did your view come from the newest south park episode?

    April 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  62. CINCEO1

    The funny thing is that no one really gave a damn about "bullying" until the kids being bullied started striking back (i.e. Columbine, etc). Its been around since schools have existed and no one cared as long as the kids being bullied did nothing. It took these kids to shoot up schools and commit suicide before the public started to care. Now everyone is in fear for their "all-american" son or "voted most popular" cheerleader who picks on these kids. I suggest you parents wake up and get control of your future loser children who are doing this!

    April 13, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  63. Andrew K. in Boston

    If they really wanted to make an impact they would have posted the video online for free like the South Park parody that aired this Wednesday and hit the nail on the head!

    Instead of getting people to pay for it. They probably would have made more money from online advertising seeing how movie-goers are on a rapid decline!

    April 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • jowl

      i agree. and if its going to be shown in schools, well someone has to purchase a copy for each school, and you can bet they'll be using taxpayer money to do it.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
      • KMHan

        Seriously? I would love to do an inventory in my classroom to see how much of it as paid by "taxpayers" and how much of it was paid by ME. Do you seriously not realize that teachers are pretty much on their own when it comes to resources?

        April 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • CW

      You nailed it. This is about money and duping well-meaning people into paying for something that should be free if it has any value at all. Sounds like KONY 2012. Just a means to enrich a few people with the help of the public that wants to pat themselves on the back. Both of these are the height of slacktivism.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  64. CINCEO1 would be a great fim to show kids in school. You might reach a handfull and get them to treat the bullied kids better. It sure as hell wouldnt hurt the situation. Most of these kids are followers that simply want to be on the side of the "in crowd" that does the bullying. But at the center of it all is the popular kid that "needs a laugh" and uses bullying as his/her escape from a similar situation AT HOME. Of ALL starts IN THE HOME. Reasons for bullying can stem from abuse in the home to simply not teaching your kids how to be an individual in a crowd of ignorance (which most parents dont teach). Sadly most parents dont even know what I am talking about because they too were once the same they hide behind their dispositions and let the cycle continue.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • TWM

      This guy justs wants the schools to buy his silly movie. Further costing us taxpayers money. They must realize this movie will garner very little receipts.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  65. Mark S

    Something needs to change in order for kids to grow up feeling safe being themselves in and ousidise of school. It needs to be a collective effort on all fronts to impose a no tolerance policy for bullying

    April 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      Might want to start with the work-place of the parents first. Bullying is alive and well there also. You have so many levels of bullying and honestly, it is terrible how many either turn a blind eye, or join it.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  66. Ed

    I agree with others who have posted that they disagree with the author in that not everyone bullies. Thats as bad an asumption as bullying itself. I was a victim of bullying until I grew up and happed to be over 6 feet tall. Fewer people were willing to exercise their weak minded approach to life when they had to deal with me after those days.

    Its the stupid lashing out. You don't have to have a three digit IQ to be smart. I'm talking about people who won't learn. It is not necessary to belittle others to make yourself feel better. If you believe that you are part of the problem and not of the solution.

    The easiest thing in the world to to make oneself feel better by making fun of someone else. Could we be talking about a combination of lazyness and stupidity? A good and intelligent person or a good person who wants to learn will not belittle another person in order to feel better about themselves. It is an epidemic of narrow minded idiocy and mental laziness.

    It feels much better to feel good about yourself when you accomplish something. But that takes effort. And the willingness not to lash out at others as a short term solution to your own inadequacies. We all have human shortcomings and making fun of someone elses is stupid.

    And an indication of stupidity...

    April 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  67. Tom

    Bullying is a serious issue; more so now that when I grew up. Back in the day existed verbal abuse, taunting, you might receive a blackeye or bloody nose but never harmed to the levels kids infure today. And kids didn't take up guns to even the score and commit suicide left and right. We survived. In my second novel, Dark Thirty from T. Allen Winn via Prose Press, to be released next week; Dale Thomas Jackson takes on a new horde of bullies at a new school. Dale faces this fear everyday of his life;
    until now he has faced it alone.If darkness wins the tug of war, all will be lost. "Beware Bullies, WE know who your are."

    April 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  68. Kelly

    @dave. I agree and this is something i have told the school administators and also the childrens parents. I am already pressing charges on a child in the neighborhood for assault, tresspass and malicious destruction of property. Sad to send a child through the juvinile court system, however i had already spoken to the childs parents 7 times. Of course those parents saw no problem with their son exhibiting criminal behavior and also acted like bullies themselves. Wonder where this kid learned it?

    April 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • CW

      You sound like you are paranoid. Way to throw the life of that kid away. Involving the courts is insane.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  69. Kimberly

    Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Parents are the key! My children do not bully! We have made the sacrifice to stay in the same schools since they started in per K. There is a family member at every school event, sporting game, concert ect. We teach our kids to respect others by showing them respect. If you are looking for change it starts at home!

    April 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • wishing it stopped

      Yet some chose to bully the kids in regards to things about their families also. Just because a parent attends all of the functions at the school does not mean their child will not be bullied. We need to stop bullying YES!, but we need to STOP THE BULLY first. My children have been taught not to bully, yet they are bullied because I am an obese person, their parent. They are slender and active yet feel like they are always going up against this bully because of how I look. Either way it is still bullying and this will not stop until schools educate more on an emphasis of diversity and challenges the students to be understanding of all. Lesson learned in school are not just about reading, writing, arethimatic and history, you learn your social skills for the most part at school. Yes it does start with the parents first but if children are socializing in schools for any type of function, sport, group club etc., or even just attending school, social skills need to be taught that encompass a standard teaching children strong social and emotional skills to help develop their adolescence skills and broaden their environment for adulthood.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  70. Rabbit One

    look man – there are three players in the end of bullying – the school systems and admin – the parents – and the bullies (with their supportive or indifferent mobs) – these parties need to step up their immediate game and recognize that bullying is a waste of life and a waste of opportunity

    April 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  71. lloyd roberts

    Here's the deal. When I was a kid growing up in the 60's and early 70's, it was fashionable to be non-violent. There was folk music around then and rock music talking about getting along and giving peace a chance. We protested the war and we felt good treating our neighbors well. We all wanted to get into positions in life where we could help one another. Yes, we were naive and innocent and didn't realize some of the harsh realities of the world. Today it is fashionable to be bad, to be tough, to have zero tolerance. I believe it is a kickback against the hippie dippie sixties that has turned politicians and education into zero tolerant enablers of violence. When a school teaches zero tolerance, do you expect a kid to have tolerance in their personal life. Children being handcuffed by police, swat teams swarming neighborhoods to look for small time pot dealers, cage fighting, abusive politicians that insult and bully. No wonder our kids are fried. Some things from the 60's should be revisited

    April 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • anchorite

      I think you're absolutely right. People bask in bucking "political correctness" even if bullying, racism, and being a tough guy has become the new political correctness. We respect strength and winning even if it means cheating or taking advantage the vulnerable, and that comes down from the highest levels, from the use of our national military to corporate culture to colleges to the playground. And we wonder why schools are getting more violent, social networking more nasty. We claim to love kids and value their safety above all else, but the instant they emulate us and act out it's "cops should be carrying guns in schools, cops should arrest kids for every fight." Kids have the same genes as we had, it's the parenting that has changed. It doesn't have to be this way. Cooperation and tolerance would benefit us all, even if it means we can't consider ourselves the victors in every aspect of life.

      April 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  72. J

    If this is so important to see, why will it not be free to watch?

    April 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  73. dee

    I couldn't get past the first paragraph...WHY? Because NO, NOT everyone has bullied someone else! I NEVER did...I was so tortured in school, that I hid behind a book and cried, while they pulled my hair, taunted me, called me names. So no,not everyone does. AND you know what else, my kids didn't. Because I, as a parent, MADE SURE, they understood what happened and that just because someone else does it, doesn't mean you need to. BULL S***. Parents, when you say kids will be, what you are saying is, What, you want me to parent? BLAH. HECK NO! And worst, I can bet, you are the one who was doing the bullying. Those who can say that, were never teased!

    April 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • anchorite

      Fine, you didn't, but that doesn' t mean you're absolved from preventing it happening to other kids. I was bullied 90% of the time, and I bullied the other 10%. I didn't see it that way at the time, but that's what it was. I still feel bad about it, both ways, and I'm happy to know that my bullies or victims are different people now and nobody committed suicide.

      April 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  74. sweet2th

    This movie stops short at schools because bullying happens among adults as well. True our children are the most vulnerable to this type of attack but adults also can fall subject to it. People in authority can really make someone's life miserable by harrassing their subjects. Every state should have anti harrassment laws to protect workers from depraved bosses.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • CW

      IIf only the Obama administration would mandate viewing Bully in the workplace. Think how much better the word would be.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
      • mkh

        There you go again. You can't seem to shake this Obama thing. Talk about paranoid!

        April 13, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  75. Jeff Weber

    I was bullied by a gang of kids a year older than me in high school, and it literally changed me from a bright, inquisitive kid to a social cynic and a person who generally doesn't trust others. These are traits that persist even today, at age 66. The answer is simple: charge physical bullies with assault and battery and proscecute them to the hilt. Intellectual bullying is a little more difficult to deal with, but vigilent monitoring by school officials certainly couldn't hurt.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  76. Dave

    @Kelly if you child has injuries he was assaulted and law enforcement should be involved!

    April 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  77. Someguy

    The connectivity of the modern world makes it seem like we all live in some quaint little shared community. Nobody seems to be able to grasp the fact that there are nearly 80 million children in the US, double the number in 1950. If something terrible happens to 10 kids per year, it is a tragedy for the families, but not something relevant to society as a whole! The media is utterly failing to draw this distinction.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  78. KMHan

    Teachers do get "bullying training" and it mostly consists of preventative measures, lots of observation, and intervening when necessary. But it is hard for teachers to instill moral values in kids at school when they are taught a different set of values at home. Our school district mandated bullying training for students, but it mostly consisted of a short video and powerpoint and the students had to sign that they had seen it so we had proof that they had "bullying training." But that was it. There wasn't really any follow up. As a teacher, it is difficult to overcome this on your own if you do not have the resources and most importantly, if the kids are not taught how to treat others at home.

    Honestly, a lot of teachers are trying to keep from being bullied themselves. We have little in the way of discipline and when contacted about student behavior, parents are often unresponsive. We spend all day just trying to get the kids to stay in class and do their work and let us actually teach. The fact is that we cannot do everything and we cannot do it alone. This is a much bigger issue in our society and it is going to take a much bigger community of people to change it.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  79. Kelly

    My favorite line came from my sons teacher. "maybe if your (aspergers disorder) child wasn't so annoying thaey would leave him alone"! By the way this comes from a woman who is not available for parent meetings on Thursdays because she is taking classes for her Masters degree in... autism education!

    April 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  80. Kelly

    I have to live in fear of the injuries my 10 year old aspergers son will come home with on a daily basis from the "well supervised" playground of his elementary school. We have had this problem for 5 years now and the school is always "in the process of taking care of it". I am in meetings with the principal and teacher on a daily basis, only to learn that the teacher calls my son names such as "Mr. Tattletale" in front of the class. How do we stop the behavior of the kids when the teachers join in?? Don't worry though, the principal has come up with a wonderful son can give up his lunchtime and recesses and eat and read books in the principals office 3 times a day. Isn't it great? The bullies will get all the satisfaction of knowing that they have won as they run freely on the playground while my son hides in the office. That will teach those bullies not to injure kids on the playground for sure! Thanks for taking care of everything in the proper way at the Taylor, Michigan School District!

    April 13, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • KellytheCanuck things on this side of the border are not that aspie son has had many issues this year with the bullies....and the school has the exact mentality....lets modify my sons schedule to accomodate the bullies....let us not hold the bullies accountable and turf them....lets change my sons schedule and make things as inconvenient for him because...hey there are only a few weeks left...lets not upset the entire applecart....

      April 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • CW

      IIt sounds like your son's thin skin may be painting a victim target on his head. Bullying stops when people fight back. Have you taught your kid to stand up for himself?

      April 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Isus

      And if you don dared to defend himself, guess who would be punished? Him. The fact of the matter is, the school probably dislikes your son as much as the bullies, and feel the bullies are justified in their behavior. Why subject him to a hostile environment? Find a different school for him. At least a school that allows parent involvement where you can be a playground supervisor or something.

      April 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
  81. Carol

    Those of you who replied, "Kids will be kids" are a big part of the problem.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  82. Blue

    My brother and I were both bullied in High School. I had my hair in the toilet, shoes thrown out the window, teased. My brother had this worse. Children on the bus throwing spitballs, punching the back of his head. We were scared, scared to tell anyone. Why? Don't know. Bullies wanted attention, that is how they received this, they don't care. They laugh, and see if others are watching. Parents need to step up more, they don't. No one should be bullied. We should ALL get along. This happened 30 years ago, today this is getting worse.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  83. Gia Higgins

    Unfortunately, bullying doesn't stop when you leave grade school. Or even higher education. Yesterday, in fact, I witnessed my boss bullying a fellow employee. I used to have respect for her, but I was shocked by the things coming out of her mouth. In the end, if we make it better in schools, it will get better for kids when they reach the adult world. As for the "suck it up" approach, that is the problem. It clearly does not always work.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  84. Saboth

    Can we please get off the "bully" wagon with the media? There are no more bullies now than there were 10, 20, 1000 years ago. People have always been bullied. They will always be bullied. The only difference is, instead of getting beat up at school and having their pants pulled down at assembly, someone makes a mean post on their Facebook page.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Nancy

      Are you serious? Yes there was bullying, but now its not just calling names. Kids are being stalked, at home, on facebook, at school, they are constantly being tormented with lies that are being told to classmates. Kids get beaten up, not with one person hitting them (as would happen 50 years ago) but with a whole mob of people kicking and punching. The goal is not to knock the other person down, its to destroy them. Kids need to be taught empathy at a young age, and it has to be something taught by both the parents and the schools.

      April 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • jeffdoorn

      that is one of the most ignorant and absent minded comments I have ever read. Bullying does not need to continue to go on just because it used to. Be better than that.

      April 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Pineal

      Accepting the status quo is equivalent to implicit endorsement. Perhaps you have never been at the receiving end making it easy for you to be so callously dismissive.

      April 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      So, because the methods have changed, why bother? That is the worst kind of excuse, one that shows no moral fiber at all.

      April 13, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • diane

      Are you really going ot say that bullying is something that has been around since the beginning of time? Really? be are has been around forever. However, today things are quite different. We have the social media. The social media is a whole new avenue that can be used for bullying. But, then again, bullying in person is a whole lot more painful. You are being physically abused, mentally abused, and emotionally abused. And, all while you are being abused you are on display for everyone around to see how you are being mistreated. This is humiliating, degrading, and can really make someones life a pure hell. Then, add the social media to that. Then you have the possiblity of everyone else seeing you be mistreated. Bully's are really really a rotten breed of people. Often times they come from a long line of bullies. You can not minimize the fact that bullying hurts. It can be so devastating to a fact, some children have been so tortured that they have commited suicide!!! That is not acceptable. Bullies should be treated as the criminals that they are.

      April 13, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • scared for future

      People owned slaves for thousands of years. Should we not have stopped that either?

      April 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
      • Olong

        And because people stood up for the rights of others, slavery was abolished. Only light can combat darkness.

        April 16, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Bully's Everywhere

      Bullying is a problem everywhere, not just in schools, and just because you are sick of seeing it in the media does not mean it's not a serious issue. It effects many people every day and should be addressed as an ongoing problem in our society. If you don't want to read the articles then don't, but denying that this isn't a serious issue is naive.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • CW

      II agree. How odd that the average American knows nothing about the bullying of the Assad regime. I guess it is more convenient to think that your life is so tough because your kid got bullied on the playground.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  85. Kay

    Laudable movie, but it won't change anything. Bullies will just laugh at it because they know it won't change anything, and victims won't see anything they didn't already know. There are rules against bullying but they're useless because schools are afraid to enforce them for fear of being sued for unlawful prosecution, and kids are afraid to report bullying because they know nothing will be done and they'll just get picked on even worse.

    Nice try, though.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • QS

      Your pessimism blinds you from understanding that this movie will be seen by many people who actually DON'T know this is going on.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  86. cnnlicksit

    Bullying is bad and I wish it didnt exist, but that goes the same for war, disease, famine, tsunamis, etc. If we want to get rid of bullying how about the teachers are allowed to beat the crap out of the students?

    April 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  87. GySgtG

    Bullies will always be here, learn to stand up for yourself and teach your kids to do the same.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Skidog75

      I agree 100% Gunnery Sergeant. Our society needs to quit raising cowards that look to someone else to always protect them. Semper Fi, GySgt P.

      April 16, 2012 at 2:25 am |
  88. Illinois

    This should be shown in work places too. I know it's more about kids, but bullying can have the same effects on people at any age. And its very sad & disruptive that people who were Bullies as kids, often continue to be bullies in the work place as adults too.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  89. GySgtG

    Bullies are a part of life and not always phyiscal. your kids need to understand this and know how to deal with it. you will never stop it anyway. you can't shelter kids from reallity.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Lea

      You're wrong – we may not be able to get rid of bullies, but we can stop blaming the victims or ignoring them and become advocates. Victims should not have to change their behaviors, bus routes, walks home or not utilize social media. They should not be prevented from enjoying school. A bullied child should not be told to "just get along" or "just ignore it". Parents and teachers need to advocate for children and, in cases of physical bullying, involve the authorities. Not all children can fight back and they should not be expected to do so. Bullying can change the course of someone's entire life, which is so sad. You sit at home with a child who is sobbing with a broken spirit because he is "different" – you look in that kid's face and say "get over it." People like you are the problem and need to be ignored. Those of us with compassion and a spine need to fight the fight. Trust me, speaking up can change a lot. I've dome it for my child and I will do it for others. All children deserve the chance to be who they are, without fear and shame.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • KellytheCanuck

        You are spot on!! Keep up the good work and spirit!

        April 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
      • AnonForReason

        @ Lea. so true. I got a call saying my son was attacked by a group of boys in the locker room. The school was great with writing out police reports. Three kids even tried to stand up for my son and one kid even ran to get help. One kid video taped it and it was caught on school cameras too. Why was my son attacked? Because he shushed a boy in an earlier class. I don't know if really 'bullying' per se as my son never said anything about and denied being picked on by kids. Anyway the school and everyone did great I thought. Then I learned that the boys who attacked only got 1 day of out of school suspension AND that my son was moved out of his gym into adaptive gym (with special needs kids even though my son has none), because the school was worried he'd be targeted again! My son has to spend 7 Mondays of his summer vacation attending each boys disorderly conduct trial to boot which will force him to miss Scout camp he attended every year for past 7 years!

        April 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
      • Skidog75

        Bullies are a good measure of a child's resolve and determination. If your kid is more overwhelmed with fear than the desire to stand up for themselves then they will likely live a life of a coward. If your child stands up against their fears they will likely be a go-getter and pursue their personal goals. Quit raising cowards. My 10 year old daughter has been raised not to pick on anyone but if pushed or hit to push back or hit back twice as hard. If bullied by someone bigger or a group to get me involved. Quit trying to change human nature because you want kids to be sissies.

        April 16, 2012 at 2:28 am |
  90. Dave

    This movie will do no good until parents and techers are willing to take responsibility for children's actions under their care. And I would like to know how this boy went through so many years of abuse by his schoolmates but his parents were clueless to anything happening. How do you not notice your child has gone from a happy child to a depressed individual living in fear. Why werent the parents paying attention to this change in behaviour. You have to protect your children at all costs and these parents and teachers failed these children miserably. Why glorify that failure and make it about the bullies only? Children are children, its the adults that have to pick up on their insecurities and fears and protect them.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • teach

      If you want teachers to take responsibility for bullying stop tying our hands, we have no power or authority. We as teachers deal with bullying everyday. We address the situation, write the referral and send them to the office. At this point the child should be suspended, but because of all the politically correct "BS" that goes on in the public education system the bully gets a stern warning and is sent back to class to do the same thing again. So until the American public stops worrying about hurting someone's feelings or putting the parents in their place for their child's bullying tactics, the bullies will continue to run the schools not the administration.

      April 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
      • Anne

        I COMPLETELY agree with you!

        April 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
      • karen

        yay!!! you are 100% correct......

        April 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
      • Olong

        If there were real consequences like community service, more students would be discouraged. The last thing they want is to be seen on the side of the road picking up trash.

        April 16, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • polo


      April 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • PU

      At Dave. So in the same vain why didn't Trayvon Martin's parents teach him to hang up the phone and call 911 when he saw someone following him for no reason? Didn't they as responsible black parents even try to teach him how to react to racism? As a white foster parent I was told in foster training to help my black foster children fit in and not be profiled and one of things I was given was a list of rules for behaving in a white community: For under 8 some rules were: put down the hood on any hoodie you are wearing when entering a building, call 911 if a white person seems to be following you or is calling you racists words like (then it listed some examples), run to a black adult if a white person approaches you in anger, etc... Yeah let's blame the parents because there child was too traumatized. Also all the kids who are raped and don't tell the very next day should have their parents shamed too.

      April 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  91. Selin

    As a middle school teacher, I try my best to spot bullies and put an end to their behavior. I constantly discuss the effects of bullying to my students and constantly remind them that they are not alone. I despise any sort of bullying and try my best to protect my students. However, I cannot be there 24/7 with them and there is only so much I can do to prevent bullying. Parents need to keep open communication for with their children and hound them constantly about what is going on at school, both academically and socially. I, for one, will be showing this movie to my students as soon as it comes out on DVD. I think it's my job as a teacher to not just educate them academically, but also to be reponsible,caring citizens.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Jess

      Do you tell the bully's parents that their kid is a bully? If so, what's the reaction?

      April 13, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Jess

      @Selin: As a teacher, do you tell the bully's parents that their kid is a bully? If so, what's the reaction?

      April 13, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • KMHan

      If you are a teacher, you can get this movie on dvd for free from the website I use a lot of their stuff and ordered this video before it became such a big deal all over the news...but I'm pretty sure you can still get it from them, along with tons of other resources about justice, fairness, and treating people equally.

      April 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
      • CW

        How about just teaching for once? You aren't the parent. Your role is to teach. Try it sometime.

        April 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
      • KMHan

        CW, I would love to. I did not know that when I entered this profession I would have to be a parent also.

        But guess what, teaching is a lot more complex than walking in a room, teaching a lesson, and grading papers.

        Children who have little parenting at home come to school with no boundaries, no guidelines, and no respect for anything. It is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to teach them anything until you first teach them how to behave in a social context. Teaching isn't magic. It's a long and arduous process and so incredibly intricate. A kid who is worried about stuff going on at home isn't going to pay attention in class. A kid who needs food or counseling doesn't care about studying for a test. A kid who has never been taught that school is important simply doesn't care.

        I have students who sit in my class and refuse to do anything. I call home and their parents are unresponsive. So, they sit. And do nothing. No matter how much effort I put into motivating them or making great lessons. And they fail. And you know who's in trouble for it? Me.

        In order for a student to learn, greater societal issues must be faced. And since no one else is dealing with them, it has been left up to teachers to do EVERYTHING. Please, parent your kids so we won't have to.

        April 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Jane

      If you show this to all your students, be prepared to re-traumatize the current victims in your class. Please don't hurt your students!

      April 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  92. Tracie

    I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie & I plan to take my children to see this movie. I'm thinking – wouldn' t be awesome if all the schools in the U.S. that have school plays all do a play about the movie. Even elementary – I realize for the younger children, the play may need to be modified. This message needs to reach each and every child.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  93. Roger

    Ten years ago my son's school told me that they had programs in place to combat bullying, but I would have to be patient. "These programs take time," they said.

    Ten years ago.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  94. Chuck

    In the adult world, what happens in schools would be considered assault and battery with up to $10,000 in fines and four years in state prison in California.

    Can you imagine four private security contractors in suits walking up to you in a corporate office, pushing you around, giving you a couple bruises, shoving you into a water cooler then walking away, laughing like nothing ever happened? But hey, as long as you're less than 18 years old, it's all good. Kids will be kids, after all.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Lynn

      Well said.

      April 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Perspective

      In all fairness, it's more "acceptable" for children because they do not have as well-formed of a concept of what is socially acceptable or not beyond their social circle, or as a matter of fact, think beyond that immediate circle socially. As adults you are expected to know that people generally would not like to be hit and have your head shoved in a water cooler, and adults are generally expected to know about consequences of actions (which implies that they did the abuse despite whatever consequences they would face).

      April 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  95. Vic

    I'm going to see it but bullying will never be squashed. Well written and I'd love to live in your always sunshiny world.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  96. BobZemko

    All the bullies I knew in school had parents who had the same personalities.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • TJ

      I didn't get bullied in school but my boys sometimes do. What I see is a trend for the parents to be very defensive types who feel their kids are not getting a 'fair' share or have a right to hurt kids who annoy/interrupt them. There's on little boy on our street who is fine most days but once in while he is so wild, just way to loud and grating, like my older boy used to be. Many times my son has come in frustrated and angry by his yelling and not following rules (like if playing baseball boy will take the ball and run around playing tag). Another parent told me that on those days she tells her son who is 4 years older than the boy to 'hit B with a stick so he learns to stop talking so loud and being annoying. He'll learn if he gets hit enough'. I just tell my son to come inside until he can be patient, often giving him a snack or me time to which the lady adviced I'd better by careful or my son would turn out to be a 'pansy'. The kids 7-8 of them actually play really well most days though (range in age from 2-9), with mine being 7, the screamer 5, and the least gentle 'bully' 9.

      April 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  97. the truther

    If they were atheists this wouldn't have happened

    April 13, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Artanis

      Well, why not? Are you saying athiests are incapable of being mean?

      April 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  98. Rebecca

    Excellent article. I hope this movie gets us several steps further to one day having our grandkids ask "what's a bully?"

    April 13, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Skidog75

      You can answer, "the oppressing government that thinks every social issue is somehow their business, honey".

      April 16, 2012 at 2:24 am |
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