When I first learned that this movie was being released, a part of my heart sank. I have a daughter that was mercilessly bullied at the hands of a group of girls in her Catholic elementary school. I was dismissed by school administration on numerous occasions with regard to my daughter, told that it wouldn’t be fair to single out individual children. Until that child was my daughter, and she took a stand for herself.
I didn’t know if I wanted to see what COULD have happened if we hadn’t found Eilis another school and given her a chance to get out of the situation she was in. I wasn’t sure I could handle the pain of the other children, or the parents of these other children, going through something that would not only hit close to home, but would land right in my living room.
But I had to. And you have to.
Bully takes us through the experiences of several children who have suffered at the hands of bullies. You will feel their pain, and you will see the anguish of their parents. When you realize that the happy little boy the film opens with has taken his own life as a result of the routine bullying he was a victim of, you will feel your heart breaking, your stomach turning, and I dare you to get through the rest of this film without cleaning your handbag out of tissues.
You won’t find solutions in this film, but you will find a jumping off point. Important for children, parents, school administrators and staff, even coaches and scout leaders to see, the movie doesn’t solve the problem of bullying, but it opens up a dialogue for us to step up and figure out what to do to save these children. It is time for us to take a stand, and while the movie doesn’t give us all the answers, I hope that it gives us the motivation.
Bully is the first REAL stand for these children who suffer, some to the point where the pain they bear becomes overwhelming. It puts this problem on the map, in our faces, and hopefully on the top of the priority list of school administrators who are too quick to brush this aside.
See Bully this weekend, and see it with your child, whether they have been bullied, are bullies, or have the potential to make a difference in the life of a peer who accepts silently the treatment that will cause lifelong emotional scars. It’s a movie that no one should miss.