"Bully" is a new documentary coming out this Friday (March 30, 2012). You can see a trailer for the film here. This movie is so important because the scourge of bullying has reached a fever pitch. It really is time for this country to start paying attention and begin brainstorming real solutions.
Bullying has been around forever, but never before have bullies had the tools they have today. Social media and modern technology have taken bullying to a new level of long-term humiliation. What was once a shove into some dirt on the playground or a 'kick me' sign on your back has snowballed into relentless torment that follows children home and finds them in their most private of times.
There is no relief for these kids.
Consider also how discipline has been muffled in public schools. Gone are the days or corporal punishment and when we took that away, we failed to train educators and parents on effective ways to discipline in its place. Administrators fear lawsuits and teachers feel helpless.
The victims of bullies today receive a literally never-ending stream of physical and verbal torment that doesn't end when they leave school. Combine this with having no authority figures which they can trust to resolve their problems and we are putting children in positions to feel absolutely vulnerable with no escape.
And we have seen this lead to suicide.
And how can we expect our children to behave respectfully and with dignity when they cannot see that example being set among our nation's leaders? Something is definitely wrong here and there has to be an intervention.
Please see this movie and, if you have them, take your children. Then ask yourself how we can contribute to a healthier environment for our children and therefore, our future adults.
In memory of these children whose bullying contributed to their suicides:
Mitchell Wilson (11 years old)
Rhianna Morawitz (14 years old)
Billy Lucas (15 years old)
Eden Wormer (14 years old)
Jamey Rodemeyer (14 years old)
Phoebe Prince (15 years old)
Ashlynn Connor (10 years old)
Ryan Patrick Halligan (13 years old)
Samantha Kelly (14 years old)
Justin Aaberg (15 years old)
Marjorie Raymond (15 years old)
Dawn-Marie Wesley (14 years old)
Brandon Bitner (14 years old)
Phillip Parker (14 years old) --- From Phillip's suicide note: “Please help me mom.”
Amanda Cummings (15 years old) --- Last post on Facebook account: 'what did I do to deserve this?'
Jamie Hubley (15 years old) --- From Jamie's last blog entry: “I’m sorry, I can’t take it anymore.”
Kristina Calco (15 years old) --- From Kristina's suicide note: "I knew I was always the ugly one. Don't say that's a lie because you don't know what some kids have said and done."
Eric James Borges (19 years old) --- From Eric's suicide note: “My pain is not caused because I am gay. My pain was caused by how I was treated because I am gay.”