This month, I’m going to post on some eye-opening movies I’ve seen lately.
Bully, a documentary, follows the stories of five families impacted by bullying. This movie brought up a lot of emotion for me. Things have most definitely escalated since I was in school, because I don’t remember kids killing themselves after months–or even years–of being bullied. And I definitely do not remember school officials turning a blind eye to bullying. When I was in school, kids went to the principal for bad behavior and the long march to the office was a shameful thing. Nowadays, some principals act like the bad students’ friends (I’ve seen it as a substitute teacher). Teachers and administrators must stand up to bullies. Parents need to step up and talk to their kids about bullying.
In fourth grade, I started a new school and at recess, on my first day, a girl grabbed the ball I was playing with from my hands, kicked it in the street, and laughed in my face. That moment has really stuck with me. At times throughout my school life, especially in middle school, I remember different moments where bullying affected my life: I was the target, others were the target, and, at times, I was the bully. I hate to acknowledge it, but I did say some mean things or choose bully friends in order to try to fit in.
In the movie, participants in a rally against bullying wore bracelets that read, “I AM SOMEONE.” Bullying only occurs because people have made the determination that “the other” is not a person; “the other” is a freak, a fag, a weirdo, a non-person. If we teach our kids nothing else, let us teach them that every person is a person.
You can watch the movie on Netflix. Or to make your voice heard, join the Unwritten Letters Project, an organization started by our very own Busy Lady’s sister.