Were you ever bullied in school? Do you remember seeing someone else get made fun of or physically harmed by their peers? It usually starts with behind-the-back name calling— “fat,” “smelly”, “ugly.” If that’s not damaging enough, words then progress into teasing, crowd-victimization and many times, physical harm.
For 12-year old, Alex Libby, a boy with Asperger’s syndrome that was featured in the movie ‘Bully,’ enduring victimization by schoolmates was an everyday reality. “They used to call me names first. Once the high schoolers got on the bus, they would do stuff to me like poke me with pencils or strangle me. Then, the other kids joined in and tried out new things,” Libby recounts.
According to the filmmakers of ‘Bully,’ a documentary shining light onto the heartbreaking issues surrounding the victimization that occurs in schools, over 13 million young people will experience some form of mental or physical violence this year. Directed by Emmy and Sundance award-winning director Lee Hirsch, the documentary follows five kids and their families over the course of one school year and the ways that bullying affects their lives.
The movie gives a face to the bullying epidemic, highlighting the story of real kids, teens, parents and schools. Though it was originally given an R rating by the Motion Picture Association of America due to explicit language and footage of bullying, the Weinstein Company, who is releasing this film will release it with ‘no rating’ from MPAA but a rating of “Pause 13+” from Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media is a nonprofit advocacy group that reviewed the film and describes each scene that might cause controversy. It also includes a parent’s guide to discuss the topic with teens.
The director of the movie said in a recent statement, “I made Bully for kids to see—the bullies as well as the bullied. We have to change hearts and minds in order to stop this epidemic, which has scarred countless lives and driven many children to suicide.”
At Wyman, we believe that bullying, or peer victimization, is a very serious matter. Teens not only need the tools to avoid such behavior, but also need to encouragement to become empathetic, caring and concerned citizens to fellow peers and the greater community. We hold the expectation that all teens will not only respect each other, but also have the confidence and bravery to stand up to fellow peers who may engage in such harmful behaviors.
This movie is set to be released on March 30th. Locally, this film will be shown in St. Louis on April 13th and 21st at the Landmark Theatre at Plaza Frontenac.
Watch the Trailer here:
Find the event on Facebook.
Check out the website: thebullyproject.com