Monday, October 8, 2012

National Anti-Bullying Month! Two Powerful Movies!!

October is a busy month.  There are several causes that deserve our attention - one of them being National Anti-Bullying Month!  Although we tend to think about traditional bullying when it comes to this aggressive and destructive behavior, we must also not forget to acknowledge the toxic trend of cyber bullying.

Most of us are aware that both types of bullying our hurting our youth.  Approximately 160,000 students per day or about 3 million per month, stay home from school out of fear of being bullied. According to recent studies, about 1 in 3 students will experience some form of cyber bullying during his/her lifetime.  More disturbing is that the experts are suggesting that "...cyber bullying is becoming a normative social behavior as individuals navigate social and video sharing worlds and it is contributing to the interruption to and breakdown of ordinary relationships (not just those of bully and victim)..." In other words, anyone who utilizes electronic communications is at risk of becoming a victim, or being involved in bullying, or both.

Over the past several years, a movement to stand up against these types of cruel and abusive behaviors has begun to take hold. This past year, two powerful movies were brought to our attention about the painful, destructive, and life-changing consequences of bullying - Bully and Bullied 2  Silence. After seeing both of these films, it is impossible to walk away from them without forever being changed by their message.

The movie Bully profiles the lives of several families who have children that were/are victims of horrific bullying. The movie graphically portrays the torture and abuse that innocent young people live with on a day to day basis - at school, on the school bus, and in their communities.  Bully chronicles the tragic consequences of chronic bullying as one family endures the unthinkable - the loss of their precious son by suicide. Bully pulls you into the lives of these families and it will leave you forever changed by the experience.

Bullied 2 Silence is also a powerful and poignant movie which profiles the deeply embedded injuries and injustices felt by numerous victims of deliberate and destructive bullying. As the participants in the film disclose their innermost fears - their lack of safety, security, and support - it is impossible not to feel their pain and desperation. Although all the narratives of the participants profiled in the film touched me deeply, the story of a young talented beautiful dancer who was being bullied mercilessly by other students in the dance company tore at the fabric of my heart.  The senselessness of it all sickened me.

Go see one or both of these films.  If Bully or Bullied 2 Silence is not in your community, go to their websites( thebullyproject.com  and www.BulliedtoSilence.com ).Schools and organizations can request showings or they can locate places that the movies are being shown. Every student and every parent/guardian need to see these films.  In fact, anyone who cares about the welfare of our most precious natural resource - our kids - needs to see these films.   

After seeing these movies, you too, will want to be part of making a change. Our kids need us.  Let's not let them down any longer.  





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