Monday, April 23, 2012

Bully... King of the Playground

"If I were king of the United States, I’d do away with popularity... because then everyone would be equal." That's one of the lines that stands out most in the highly-publicized "Bully" in theaters now. I blogged about it before it came out and now that I've seen it, I feel compelled to say more. First off, I can't remember a movie that has left me with tears in my eyes throughout nearly the entire length of the film. Sure, "Sophie's Choice" made me cry my eyes out and "Schindler's List" left me speechless for most of the afternoon, but "Bully" really hit me. Parents should not have to find their teenager hanging in the closet, eleven year olds should not have to see their best friend buried, school should not be a place students are afraid of, so WHAT IS HAPPENING? I can't say that I'm shocked to see the behavior of the kids in the movie, because I, of course, went to school and I remember the name calling, fights and ridicule. It's worse now with the internet, texting and cell phone video, but it's been going on forever. What DID shock me was the behavior of some of the administrators, teachers and bus drivers. Yes, kids will be kids, but bullying should not be tolerated. I know that there are schools that take bullying very seriously, I know that there are teachers, who don't turn a blind eye, I know that administrators have rules they need to follow, but come on! We adults should know better. We're supposed to be the role models. Let's figure this out. Just say NO! This is not right. It broke my heart to see these children going through the daily ritual of being picked on and beat up, because they're too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too smart, too dumb, too masculine, too feminine, too different. Guess what, bullies... YOU'RE NOT PERFECT EITHER! At one point, Alex from Sioux City, Iowa is asked by his mom if it feels good to be pushed and hit and stabbed with pencils and he responds with "I'm starting to think I don't feel anything anymore". The little boy is bullied so often that he's becoming desensitized to it. Let's not become desensitized to bullying as a society, because these kids deserve a chance to grow, smile, laugh, thrive and make it past their 18th birthday. It's time to take a stand. Each and every one of us. How will YOU help make a difference?