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“Bully”: A Voice for Victims of Bullying

Bullying is a very serious problem in schools today. We’ve discussed it often here on PI, including how it has led to young children taking their own lives.

In a new film titled Bully, director Lee Hirsch will present an eye-opening documentary about the tragic realities of bullying.

The film follows five young victims of bullying throughout a school year, focusing primarily on 12-year old Alex. The film also includes the stories of two families whose children have committed suicide. With rare access to classrooms, cafeterias and school buses, Hirsch shows the truth behind bullying and the unspeakable pain these young children face, all while their parents struggle for a solution.

Below is the trailer:

If you found the preview disturbing, well, imagine what the film has to offer. In fact, the finished piece was considered inappropriate for young children and rated R because of its “crude language.” The irony is that young children, the subject of Bully, have to endure crude language every day in school, as demonstrated in this documentary. If you think an R-rating is ridiculous, you’re not the only one.

A grassroots organization launched by Katy Butler, a Michigan student and bully victim, petitioned to have the R-rating removed via change.org. Butler felt that an R-rating would prohibit access to those who would most benefit from watching the documentary. Celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep supported the movement, and now the film will be released “unrated.”

Hirsch, a victim of bullying himself, feels this documentary is a long time coming. In a recent interview with TakePart, he reveals,

It was extraordinary to me that in the universe of documentary film, in which multiple subjects had been revisited hundreds of times, there wasn’t much about bullying. And yet it was such a common experience amongst people, not just in America but everywhere, that I felt like there was a compelling need for the film. I thought the film would connect with a lot of people who hadn’t had a voice before.

If you’re interested in helping, watch Bully, pray about it, talk to your parents, talk to your friends. Find out how you can be a friend or an advocate to bullied kids at your school. Remember that strength is in numbers, so if you’re part of a group of friends, welcome a bullied child into your group and be a real friend.

There’s so much loneliness, insecurity and sadness in the hearts of bullied children. Alex is one of millions. One day when you’re a parent, he could be your child. We as Christians have a responsibility to show love and compassion. By showing these sentiments to a victim of bullying, you could make a huge impact. You could change a life. You could make a friend.

I think the power of this campaign is that you can walk away from seeing this film and say, I’m going to be out there in an empathetic way; I’m going to look for opportunities to make a difference in the life of someone who is being bullied. At the end of the day, that’s what our hope is (Lee Hirsch).

Bully will be released in theaters on March 30.

Are you planning on watching Bully? Are there bullies in your school?

Image: Youtube.com

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34 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by Creampuffchan on June 13, 2012 at 10:47

    My friend Damien commit suicide due to bullying. He was gay. He was the best person I had ever met. People told him he was going to hell, and that he should die. I could not tell that he was upset, he covered it up with a smile.. every day I cry.
    Damien made me feel beautiful, he helped me come out with my sexuality. I am bisexual, and I am proud. God loves me no matter what. I have attempted suicide, I have cut, I have an eating disorder, I have been bullied. sometimes when I walk down the hallways at school I hear someone yell ‘Faggot!’ (please excuse the language) and it HURTS. someone scratched ‘gay’ on my locker. Other christians have tried to change me. I was born with my sexuality. I miss Damien with all my heart.. I try to stay strong but sometimes I feel it’s not enough. I’m about to tip over the edge.

  2. SunshineGirl

    Posted by SunshineGirl on May 25, 2012 at 13:12

    When I read the comments it made me cry, because I never understood how lucky I am to be homeschooled! I will pray for all of you 🙂

  3. faulty-but-real

    Posted by faulty-but-real on April 28, 2012 at 11:19

    i know what bullying is like,i lived through it for 5 years straight. i was the girl on the playground all the other girls laughed at,either it was my hair,my weight,my clothes,or the fact i hardly wear make-up,IF at all (which i hardly do unless i am performing,but,even then,its just face-paint and black eyeliner [i am a mime. i’m in a Christian mime group called Silent Witness Mime Troupe]). i was the girl who would sit all alone wherever we were because they went off and went somewhere,and i didn’t go cause i knew it wouldn’t be right. they laughed when i tried to share the Gospel with them. they laughed at me because i am home-schooled. there favorite thing to call me was “fishy” because the said “smell like fish,” and i don’t! every time i tried to get myself out,they got back under my skin until i was in tears,then made a laughing stock out of me for crying. it finally came to a stop,i don’t remember if it was last year,or two years ago,but it finally stopped when they stuck a note in the front door of my house,telling me things that no one should tell anyone,but the pain lingers still,and i have made choices in my life that aren’t really good,i won’t disclose anything,but its really hard. i have strayed away from God because of this and more. so i will stand up,and fight for the victims of bullying,because i was one,and its not fair for someone to go through.

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by GraceS7 on April 20, 2012 at 12:26

    I’m one victim but I know God let me pass through this because He want to make me a stronger girl and one day when they critic me that isn’t going to hurt me because I will be stronger, here are songs that will make you feel better Gold – Britt Nicole and Mean – Taylor Swift

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by alwaysstrong on April 10, 2012 at 15:30

    Please read this because I really need some advice because I’m on the edge right now. I get bullied all the time at school. Mostly by boys though. It’s like I’ll never be good enough. I first transfered to this PRIVATE CHRISTIAN school this past year. they called me emo because I wore darker eye makeup, didn’t smile much, and they took notice of the slashes from cutting myself (they enjoy seeing me suffer). Then I got called a whore, slut and the b-word and I don’t even know why. I once overheard them called me “disgusting” and I just wanted to cry but I didn’t. I’m a virgin and I’ve never even kissed a boy except on the cheek. Now they make fun of me for being really skinny with bigger boobs and it’s just annoying I can’t help that. And they especially make fun of me for my hair because I like to experiment a bit with coloring, like I’ve had blue highlights, orange highlights, and my hair is currently light strawberry blond (and according to them gingers have no souls…it’s so dumb!). And I also get bullied for being the only Jew (besides my sister) in our school. Because of being Jewish people from school have told me that I’m a Christ killer, slurs about Jews being sluts, someone told me to leave the school because Im a Jew (“get out” were his exact words), and one kid who is german said “My ancesters killed your ancestors in the holocaust because they deserved to die and go to hell and so do you”. I had to debate with a so called christian for an HOUR about why I’m NOT A CHRIST KILLER!!!!!! 🙁 I usually either ignore the person or pretend I don’t care, and I put on this really confident act but on the inside I’m dying. I mean really??… I get enough of feeling worthless from my alchoholic partier dad who I barely ever see and when I do see him he calls me ugly and stupid and fat (which I’m not im only 93 lbs and 5′ 5″).I honestly want to die and I want more than anything to go back to cutting and drugs but I haven’t done either of those in almost six months, but I’m really badly wanting to cave in. I used to be a Nihilist which is a really dark form of atheism, and though I wouldn’t go back, I feel so far away from God right now and just want the mean words and everything to go away but that will never happen. I’ll most likely come to school tomorrow with slashes on my wrists but that’s okay nobody cares anyway.

    • JesusFreakySongbird

      Posted by JesusFreakySongbird on April 15, 2012 at 16:56

      I agree with love4494. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. It sounds like those “christians” arent being very christlike. I suggest you submerge yourself in the bible and what is truly good and eternal. Get on Girl Talk if you need to talk to someone. Also, congrats on getting out of the self abuse. God rejoices when his beloved (you) come out of the deep. I’ll be praying for you. Please message me if you see me on chat anytime cause I’d love to talk to you and get to know you better. Christ also wants to know you but He leaves it your choice. Stay string in the Lord. Please also look up any music by Skillet. Theyve really helped me. I recommend Better Than Drugs, Last Night, and Hero.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by alwaysstrong on May 2, 2012 at 17:23

        I listen to Skillet they are great 😀 btw I’m doing better… I talked to my mom about everything and my friends and realized that it might’ve been because I was hanging around people who brought me down. And YOU GUYS ARE BEAUTIFUL TOO, even though I’ve never seen you guys lol

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by alwaysstrong on May 2, 2012 at 17:21

        thanks guys (: ohh and

    • love4494

      Posted by love4494 on April 13, 2012 at 19:45

      I’ll be praying for you, My dad when he was my age got bullied too and had an alcoholic abusive father so he knows what that feels like. I want you too know that I care and hope your situation will start to get better. :)God Bless you.

    • love4494

      Posted by love4494 on April 12, 2012 at 13:21

      Hi there, I know how you feel to be brutally bullied at school, I’ve been in the same boat for years, something I suggest is to seek help from teachers, counselor and staff at your school if you haven’t already. People make fun of me for being a Christian because I don’t act like them and also I always get made fun of for the way I look because I’m short and have a lot of acne on my face. Another thing that helps me is to forgive the bullies and I know that seems hard to do but trust me it makes things a lot better and to not respond in anger but with kindness to them. It makes a big difference. And I want you to know that you are deeply loved by God and despite what others say, you are Truly Beautiful!

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by alwaysstrong on April 12, 2012 at 18:48

        ill take your advice. i decided not to go back to cutting though….. i can’t be weak like that again. thank you, you just made my day (:

  6. jones.dana46

    Posted by jones.dana46 on April 5, 2012 at 22:45

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=begg0NKhiK8&list=WL2CF9D741F19AFE67&index=16&feature=plpp_video

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by Liv on April 2, 2012 at 14:09

    I can’t believe anyone thinks they can protect kids by not letting them watch this movie. The things that go on in it go on at schools every single day. It’s completely ridiculous to shelter kids from watching it and then send them off to school to face it in real life. Every school has a bullying problem. Usually kids are afraid to ask for help, and no one will step in for them. I spent years of my life feeling hopeless because of this. The moment I stood up for myself, I found that a lot of my friends really didn’t care about me, and that hurt, but it was worth it. A lot of teachers didn’t care either, but I finally started caring about myself. You have to know that you are important and you are loved. You were made for a purpose. No one deserves to be treated with hatred. Now that I know Jesus, I can finally see that. He used everything that happened to me to lead me to Him. He won’t let you suffer without turning your pain into something wonderful. There is so much more I could say about this, but what’s important is to seek God in every situation and follow His will in everything you do, including how you treat others.

    • JesusFreakySongbird

      Posted by JesusFreakySongbird on April 15, 2012 at 16:44

      It is really sad but a lot of schools that say theyre antibullying wont help people and pretend not to see what happens.

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by Nisa on April 2, 2012 at 13:37

    I had some issues with feeling bullied. And in all hoensty, i think we’ve become so much more sensitive and lost that people think the only solution is suicide. BUT I just felt more lonely even than bullied. They called me a slut…..and I’m a virgin. I was insecure even though I was actually a popular kid! I was somewhat depressed for a while…..just feeling alone. I finally broke down one in class just bawling. BUT for anyone who is feeling that way now….let me tell you that you need to seperate yourself from those people and get a hold of Jesus! He has restored my every happiness….10 fold. Beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning…..God Bless you…don’t be afraid to contact helpp….the worst thing you can do it suffer alone.

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by GlitterDragons303 on April 1, 2012 at 16:12

    bullying is a problem at my private school, too many cliques, people that pretend to like you and then stab you in the back, and also HOT guys and incrediblely hhhooottt teachers. My school is really cool and academically isn’t that bad, but socially its a nightmare.

  10. love4494

    Posted by love4494 on April 1, 2012 at 06:41

    I really hope they bring it to my hometown so I can see it.

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by lordslady108 on March 31, 2012 at 21:34

    Bullying is a huge deal everywhere. Some places are worse than others, but everyone has seen or felt the effects in our society. It’s a terrible thing, one that causes people to take their own lives to escape the torture. Many people think that the suicidal teens are crazy, until they experience it themselves. If more people acted out against it, hundreds of lives would be saved each year.

  12. Project Inspired

    Posted by loe on March 31, 2012 at 15:26

    I know how it feels like. I experience the feeling of loneliness, insecurities,sadness,self-pity,depression,low self esteem,cryin all the time , feeling like I don’t belong, hating , finding it hard to forgive everyday, I ‘m being bullied everyday @ school. 🙁

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on April 2, 2012 at 16:10

      I pray you find strength in God and surround yourself with good Christians. Find a youth group, if you haven’t already, and volunteer for your church. You are worthy. Christ died for you, remember.

  13. I am a Princess

    Posted by I am a Princess on March 31, 2012 at 12:19

    My brothers, 12 and 13, once called this 10 year old kid a nerd because he would rather play the piano than go play some game with them. I thought that was very mean 🙁

  14. theoutsidersgirl

    Posted by theoutsidersgirl on March 31, 2012 at 06:21

    I have been bullied. I still get bullied at times. Like the other day a boy made fun of my face. Ive been called ugly and told “shut up no one cares!” Ive even been sexually harassed. My family, church, youth group friends and leaders, and Jesus have been helping me get through it.

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on April 2, 2012 at 16:08

      Well God cares, and you have found friends in youth group. Keep them all close. Find strength in them. God bless you.

  15. Paris

    Posted by Paris on March 30, 2012 at 22:24

    I found that bullies only bully because they are insecure of themselves,so they pick on kids who can’t stand up for themselves to make them feel like they’re worth it.

  16. kala12395

    Posted by kala12395 on March 30, 2012 at 19:22

    I wish Bully would play in more states!! Wisconsin currently has no theaters playing the movie :/

  17. Project Inspired

    Posted by cynikki on March 30, 2012 at 17:59

    Bullying…is so wrong. I’m bullied in my everyday life, forced to sit alone at a lunch table due to dating a nerd. I’m referred to Asa whore or a slut even though I didn’t do anything. I am anorexic, because I am not as skinny as other girls. I admit, I cut daily. My friends smoke, and I am just beginning. I only hope someone will break the silence, and bring awareness, even if it isnt me. But what good will hope do? I’ve been hoping my whole life.

    • SunshineGirl

      Posted by SunshineGirl on May 25, 2012 at 13:09

      Proverbs 31:10-31 Every girl should have this in her room on her wall 🙂

    • JesusFreakySongbird

      Posted by JesusFreakySongbird on April 15, 2012 at 16:41

      Youre not alone hon. I’m bullied everyday too. Apparently to them I’m not tall, skinny, curvy, pretty, or sexy enough. To them I am a freak. I am too smart, too loud, and too happy. Don’t let them continue to get to you. I suggest you see Psalms 139 and the gospel of John. I also hope you’ll find someone you can talk to whenever this stuff is really getting to you. You can always get on the Girl talk on here. I’ll be praying for you.

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on April 2, 2012 at 16:04

      I agree with Nicole. You need to realize that you are loved so deeply by Christ. I will pray that you find strength in Him and that you find true friendships that make you feel like the worthy person you are. Please stop hurting yourself. God weeps for you and wants to help.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by cynikki on April 5, 2012 at 12:15

        thank you. it would be easier if we had a church in town, but all of them are down below. any vereses or chapters you guys reccomened?

    • Posted by Nicole on April 2, 2012 at 13:26

      please seek help from a counselor, I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful/precious/adored/and loved you are by the KING, God who cares the most!! Don’t listen to those people, they are so insecure and that’s why they pick on you! Please surround yourself with Christians, get involved in church, people care about you but you need to be surrounded by happy, kind people. I am praying for you, I love you and God does too!