how you can help end bullying

I rarely turn on the t.v. at night, we usually watch a show we missed on the iPad, no TiVo here. But, one evening I did turn on the t.v. and caught the movie, Bully. I’m really glad I did, and that it happened to be on PBS that night, at that particular time. I know, I’m WAY behind, it’s only been out for two-and-a-half-years. I have a full life and missed this one, but here I am, telling you if you haven’t seen it, you just may possibly consider doing so.

This is an issue I need to stand against. Bullying. Why? Because my son has special needs. Why? Because just a couple weeks ago teens were charged with abusing an Autistic teen. Why? Because children can’t stand against bullies on their own. Why? Because it makes me mad. And when something makes you mad, more importantly, when something hits home, you want to do something about it. Well, some of us do, and for others, they just don’t know where to turn, so I’m here to give you some tools.

I highly suggest watching Bully.

I also suggest that if you watch it and feel your child can handle it, have your middle or high schooler watch it with you. (The movie may not be appropriate for younger children.) Create conversation around the movie. Better yet, have a HUGE pizza party and have your child invite friends over to watch it! (After you’ve viewed it and found it appropriate.)

Sean Oconnell for Fandango says, “Halfway through my screening of Bully, I glanced across the living room, saw a photo of my sons, and started sobbing. It was the most guttural reaction I’ve had to a film all year. Maybe I was imagining them having to endure the vicious social obstacles presented in the film. Probably I was moved by the hardships suffered by the parents and children who open up for filmmaker Lee Hirsch’s cameras. More than anything, though, I just wanted them to come home from school so I could hold them. Forever.”

Bully movie preview:

So many things about this movie hit me. Of course, first is the bullying itself and watching the pain in the children’s eyes and hearing about the ones who’ve committed suicide because they couldn’t handle it anymore.

I’m also scared for my son who has Autism. He’s in a great school that makes intentional efforts to teach kids about special needs and differences, but one day he’ll go to middle school, and I’m thinking I might homeschool him then.

I hate it that one of the families places all the blame on their son. It disgusts me and I was shocked to see how this family treated a child who’s being abused physically and verbally at school and on the bus. The mom sits down and looks at her son across the table, and says, “Does it make you feel good when they punch you, or hit you, or stab you? Do these things make you feel good?…Your only connection to these kids is that they like to pound on you.” His father also asks, “What are you going to do about it?” And goes on to ask how they’ll treat his sister when she reaches middle school if he doesn’t stop the abuse. WHAT???!!!

Watch the movie, have conversations about it, talk to your kids about it, have open communication with your kids and teens about bullying, make it safe to come to you. You can read more about bullying in my post, Where the Abuse of Autistic People Begins. It begins at home, with you.

  • Teach your children about differences
  • Try to be around people who are different
  • Talk about people who are in wheelchairs, have a leg brace.
  • Watch movies, shows, and read books that have actors and characters who aren’t typical.
  • Be a good example for your children to follow. End bullying.

You can support the Bully Movie Project on Facebook.

Please share with others to help stop bullying.

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