Ultimate Bullying Solution

The World’s Finest Online Source of
Uncensored Information on
How to Stop Bullying & Cyber Bullying

“Bully” Documentary Makes You Feel What It’s Like to Be a Victim of Bullying

Screenshot from the movei "bully"

A new documentary, made by the same director that brought you the Oscar-winning French film, "The Artist" is being released amidst controversy and protest.

The film, "Bully" is produced by Indie film legend Harvey Weinstien and directed by Lee Hirsch. The focus is on five adolescents who are targets of bullying and shows graphic footage of what kids go through when they are targeted by bullies.  While you may intellectually "get it" when someone talks about the mental and emotional damage that is caused by bullying, it is not until you see it happen – in real time – and see the pain and anguish on the face of the victim, that you actually can "feel" their pain.

The film has scenes where victims of bullying talk about being hit, slapped, choked, teased, ridiculed and more.  You can see the pain in their eyes; I literally felt their pain just watching them on the screen. Parents and kids in the film talk about how they feel helpless, like there is nothing they can do; there are scenes where the filmmakers capture bullies beating up one child on the bus, then the film flashes to a parent, telling an educator that her child is getting picked on.  The educator looks at the mother and says, "I have been on that bus; those kids are golden."

This is a powerful film that is a must-see – and it makes a point that I think is lost on most people about bullying, and that is this: all the conventional wisdom about dealing with bullying is put in proper perspective when you actually see and feel bullying happening in real time – and the way we are taught to deal with bullying doesn't work.

As a twenty-plus year veteran of the martial arts and father, my fists literally clenched up during a scene from the film where a boy was being slapped, choked and picked on while riding the bus. He just took it. He tried to "turn the other cheek" and "be the bigger person" and things just got worse.

Time after time in scenes from the film, parents and kids followed the conventional wisdom on how to stop bullying and it didn't work. As the film goes along, you can literally feel their emotions building as the bullying continues.

What stood out to me was that it felt like these people didn't think they had permission to fight back – to stand up for themselves.

When I say, "fight back", I don't literally mean fight back as far as getting into a fight. (Although there are times when I do believe protecting yourself is warranted, but that is a subject for another article.) When I say, "fight back", I mean stand up for yourself.

Stand up to the bully or bullies in your life. Turn around and face them, look them in the eye. Tell them "You ain't the boss of me" and that you aren't going to tolerate their behavior. Bullies do what they do because they get a reaction from you that makes them feel good.  If you stand up to them, make them uncomfortable or take away the response that they are looking for, you are no fun anymore.

Some may say that you should not do this; some say that will only provoke the bullying and make it worse.

So what?  What if it does? Let's frame this in a different way…

What would you rather have happen? Have your child bullied to the point of anxiety, depression, skipping school, sleeping problems, falling grades and worse – a damaged self image and self esteem with wounds that can last a lifetime – or would you rather your child go through one moment of one day where he stands up for himself and possibly gets beat up and in trouble, but develops a self-love and self confidence that lasts a lifetime?

When you see the boy in the film being bullied (and I mean physically assaulted; if you or I did what these kids did to another adult we would be brought up on charges) and then you hear the pain in his voice and see the look of despair in his eyes, I dare you to re-examine everything you have ever heard about how to deal with bullying – and how YOU would deal with bullying if it happened to you.

While all the information out there about bullying sounds great, the reality is in those moments of being bullied, a lifetime of thoughts and behavior patterns are established and the victim will have to live with them forever.  We can either train and prepare ourselves and our kids to be strong, resilient and confident in themselves and what is right or wrong, or we can hamstring them with rules that actually damage their self image and self esteem.

Please see this movie and think about what if it was you?




One Comment

  1. Barra
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 19:49:14

    thanks for that link. What a heartbreaking story and Ellen's message made me tear up. You can see she really understands what those kids went through. I wish I could say bullying is a problem between children and teens but I've seen it happen oh too often in the work place as well. I don't know if it's insecurity, a superiority complex or a hunger for power and domination over others that is responsible. All I know is it has to stop. Great post!


Leave a Reply