Too few really understand the damage caused to our children by words, by deeds, and by the apathetic responses victims of bullying receive from the very people who should be protecting them. This damage can be even greater to vulnerable special needs children. Yet, Lee Hirsch captures this in his film in a way that is undeniable although he never identifies two of the children in the film as having Asperger’s.
My Personal Experience
I know more than most the devastation caused by society’s failures since my daughter experienced this when her school counselor reacted much the same way as the school in Iowa portrayed in Hirsch’s Bully movie. I went over the counselor’s head to get help and I sought outside help as well. Yet, four years later the same school again failed my daughter. This is why I appreciate how Bully clearly shows the failures.
I admit I cried throughout much of the movie and I wanted to shout at the screen during other parts. That is how close to home it hit for me. I get it. I too have an honor student, who was an amazing basketball player, but she rarely showed that side of herself on teams because people made it too hard for her. Yet, the man who runs the best-known local basketball clinic can confirm that it is true.
Handling My Child’s Bullying
I have the son who had his clothes taken while he towel dried after P.E. one day, but unlike the child who killed himself after repeated bullying, my son still had his wet swimwear to wear home, his cell phone, and thankfully it was his last class. Armed with more information than Tyler’s parents since I had already gone through bullying with his older sister, I got on the phone with my husband and he got on the phone with the school. The problem was solved the next day and never occurred again. Maybe it is because the school already knew about my [easyazon-link asin=”1450260500″ locale=”us”]novel[/easyazon-link], and I made it clear when I talked to the dean after a parent meeting the next morning that my husband and I will never again tolerate someone bullying our children. We are both vocal about that to other parents too.
“Bully”, the Movie
I get why Mr. Hirsch had to make the movie and I get why he chose to include the hard stuff. No matter how many times anyone tells principals, vice principals, law enforcement, teachers, counselors, bus drivers, bystanders, and even parents how we are failing our children, there are always people who refuse to believe how severe the problem is until they see it. It is like they all live in Missouri, the show me state. Well Mr. Hirsch is showing you!
- Now what are you going to do about it?
- Are you going to stop criticizing him for the way he made the movie and for the things you feel he left out?
- Are you going to encourage others to go see the movie and to join The Bully Project and go to http://specialneeds.thebullyproject.com/about to find solutions?
I challenge each and every one of you to join this cause. It needs to be society’s cause. These children are our future and they are worth saving!