Wednesday, March 28, 2012


  You may or may not be aware that there's an important movie being released this Friday (March 30th). And yes, I know "The Hunger Games" came out last week. But I'm not talking about "The Hunger Games".

  It's a movie far more important than that (or any other movie that's been released for entertainment purposes in recent memory). And a movie we ALL need to see. Kids, adults, and everyone in between.

  The movie is called "Bully".

  It's a documentary movie about the prevalence of bullying in schools. I know, bullying has probably been around since the start of man. But it seems to me, that more recently, we've been hearing more and more about kids who are afraid to go to school, and sadly, who have committed suicide because of bullying.

  It is said that roughly 13 million children will be bullied at school in the US this year. 13 MILLION KIDS! That number tells me that the problem of bullying is being ignored, or swept under the rug. Adults, and those in charge just saying, "Oh, kids will be kids...'

  Children, no matter their age or background, should never feel unsafe, afraid, or nervous about going to school. We need to do our best to make school a safe haven for all kids. 

  Alex, a boy in the movie, says: "They punch me in the jaw, strangle me, they knock things out of my hand, take things from me, sit on me. They push me so far that I want to become the bully."

  That's not just 'kids being kids'.

  I'm not exactly going out on a limb when I say that bullying has taken on a whole new meaning since the dawn of the Internet (and cell phones). With the Internet, it's easier to bully, and it's easier to be bullied. For one, everyone is more accessible on a daily basis. And secondly, when a person can hide behind a computer screen, there's no telling the things they will say. And that's a very scary thing, given the emergence and popularity of social media in recent years.

  We know the Internet isn't going away, and bullying isn't slowing down. So we need to do something about this growing 'phenomenon'. I wondered aloud a few months ago on Twitter, and asked: What is more important, emphasizing that bullying is NOT okay, or teaching kids how to deal with bullying? What do you think???

  I don't know how or when bullying became 'cool' or tolerated. But somehow, we need to send this thought back in the other direction. Bullying is NOT cool, and should never be tolerated. EVER.

  And at the same time, we're not going to stop bullying from happening overnight. As much as we'd like that to happen, it's not realistic. Coping techniques and support systems should become emphasized even more at school, and at home.

  Kids don't just become bullies on their own. Unfortunately they learn this behavior SOMEWHERE. They learn to bully. So we, as adults, need to take that responsibility and set an example for the kids in our lives. Whether they are your children, your niece, your brother, a child you coach, them how to behave, and that it is not okay to bully, nor is it okay to be bullied. 

  This is a big issue to tackle. But one that needs to be addressed. Like any cause, spreading awareness is a start. If no one knows there's a problem, we can't begin to solve it. Hopefully, watching "Bully" will go a long way in starting a dialogue, and we'll start to find a solution!

  Let's get out and see "Bully," and start putting an end to this terrible trend.

Note: "Bully" is rated PG-13, and contains strong language.

The Bully Project
Jillian Michaels Podcast 11/18/2011
The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation
Creating Safe and Engaging Schools

Little Eyes Upon You


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