Follow-up on BULLY-have you seen it yet?

The jury is still out judging from the wide range of opinions in reviews for Lee Hirsch’s “Bully”, otherwise known as “The Bully Project”.
I have to admit I was a little disappointed but still feel it’s an extremely important film for adults and teenagers to see. Every school should incorporate this film into its programming  even though some of the school staff in the movie are shown to be dismally ineffective. The issue of bullying is one we all need to repeatedly bring into focus and work towards ending.
IMHO, the demographic studied in the documentary should have been more far-reaching  in order to impact a wider audience. This was a great opportunity to make a tremendously powerful statement and somehow it didn’t quite achieve what I had hoped.
Here are some other opinions:
The Bully Project is an intense, heartbreaking movie that every parent and school official should see. Kids may be kids, but abusers are taught. Here’s hoping this movie will have a positive effect and not just be ignored like the kids it’s trying to help. – Click here for the full review.
 But it also reveals Hirsch and Dwyer’s real priorities. Their victims cannot be empowered but rather pitied for their status as social pariahs. Difference is not a good thing in “Bully” but rather a frail quality and a mark of outcasts everywhere. The good intentions of everyone involved in making “Bully” don’t matter when the underlying logic to their film is so latently disparaging. Read the full review – The Playlist
“Bully,” Lee Hirsch’s moving and troubling documentary about the misery some children inflict upon others, arrives at a moment when bullying, long tolerated as a fact of life, is being redefined as a social problem. “Just kids being kids” can no longer be an acceptable response to the kind of sustained physical and emotional abuse that damages the lives of young people whose only sin is appearing weak or weird to their peers. Read the full review here – NY Times.
I went to see BULLY today with some of my favourite people: our daughter, May and two of our granddaughters, Jessica, 11, and Megan, 13, along with a friend of theirs, Lucie, also 13. Over a post-movie lunch, we had a great gab about the movie and bullying in general.
I asked the girls to e-mail me some of their thoughts. I’ll qualify this by saying they  attend a small private school where a great deal of energy is spent focusing on community and respecting differences. As a former teacher, I firmly believe every classroom should share that focus in schools large or small, public or private. It can be done. Does it take work? YES. Is it effective? YES.
Lucie and MeganWe thought seeing the movie was a good experience because it opened our eyes. At our school there’s hardly any bullying so neither of us have really been bullied. Seeing the movie, it was hard to believe the amount of bullying taking place regularly and the huge impact it has on kids. The most shocking part is that often the school staff either doesn’t know about what’s happening, or doesn’t do anything about it. The number of kids that have committed suicide because of bullying is crazy and completely unnecessary. It’s horrible to think the families of some kids getting bullied don’t even know it’s happening. People getting bullied need to speak up in order for it to get better. We’re glad we saw the movie because it helped us understand the affect bullying has on kids of all ages. At times, Bully got repetitive – it could’ve had a wider variety of families/backgrounds. We’d recommend people see it though, because it gives you a whole different perspective of bullying and how serious it is.

Jessica – I found the movie very sad just because it’s terrible to think that these things actually happen and kids actually take their own life because of what others do to them. I cried A LOT during the movie because I feel like these kids are innocent and they just feel alone because the movie even showed how the parents and teachers really didn’t do much. If I were to change some parts of the movie to make it better, I would make it so that some child counsellor could maybe talk a little about why children bully. Also the ending of the movie seemed unfinished, and it seemed like they didn’t really come up with a solution. 

It’s very hard to think of ways to stop bullying because we’ve already done so much to try. Something some schools could do like we have at ours is have the teachers talk to the students about how wrong bullying is on a regular basis. I think this would really help because even though the bullies know what they’re doing is wrong, talking to them and making sure they know it’s unacceptable, how much trouble they could get into and how much damage it can do to the person getting bullied.
Overall I think Bully was a very good lesson. I would recommend this movie for children around age 10-16, but it’s good to let anyone know about how stupid bullying is.
Have you seen BULLY yet? What are your thoughts? Are you aware that your schools are working effectively to combat this unacceptable behaviour? You know I love to hear from you so leave a comment and share your thoughts. Thanks!

Published by patriciasands

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada when she isn't somewhere else, particularly the south of France. With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all of her life through photography. Much to her surprise a few years ago, she began to write and has now published three novels, including two that are part of a six-book series set in the south of France. Love France? Love her work! Check out her website She is particularly drawn to the rewarding friendships of women and the challenges many embrace once their families are grown. "It's never too late to begin something new," she enthuses. "As the saying goes, just do it!"

4 thoughts on “Follow-up on BULLY-have you seen it yet?

  1. I have a nephew who was bullied when his family relocated during his freshman year. He was a small kid with an odd last name, so he was ripe for the bully-picking.

    It broke my sisters heart every day she dropped him off at school and watched his droop shouldered walk to the school door. Broke my heart to imagine it.

  2. Such intelligent and mature responses to the movie from such young girls. I never want to go through what Gloria’s sister went through. As a mother, all I want to do is protect my daughter. I don’t know how I’d react if I couldn’t do that. Helpless is not a good thing for a mother to be.

    1. Yes, the girls really responded to the movie and agreed that every school should be showing it to students. Let’s hope that happens. As a parent, we have to be aware of what is going on at school and step in if bullying is an issue.

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