A friend of mine sent me a link to this project. I find this topic to be so heartbreaking and in the wake of recent events, so unbelievably relevant. This movie, once completed, seems like a phenomenal way to open the dialog with your children regarding just how destructive bullying can be. The synopsis is as follows, and there is a link to the trailer below.
This year, over 18 million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus, at home, through their cell phones and on the streets of their towns, making it the most common form of violence young people in this country experience.
The Bully Project is the first feature documentary film to show how we’ve all been affected by bullying, whether we’ve been victims, perpetrators or stood silent witness. The world we inhabit as adults begins on the playground. The Bully Project opens on the first day of school. For the more than 5 million kids who’ll be bullied this year in the United States, it’s a day filled with more anxiety and foreboding than excitement. As the sun rises and school busses across the country overflow with backpacks, brass instruments and the rambunctious sounds of raging hormones, this is a ride into the unknown. For a lot of kids, the only thing that’s certain is that this year, like every other, bullying will be a big part of whatever meets them at their school’s front doors.
Every school in the U.S. is grappling with bullying—each day more than 160,000 kids across the country are absent because they’re afraid of being bullied—but for many districts it’s just one more problem that gets swept under the rug. With unprecedented access to elementary, middle and high schools across Sioux City, Iowa, The Bully Project will follow from the first day of school through the last, as students, teachers, coaches, principles and parents battle bullying in their district. In hallways, classrooms, busses, football practice and band rehearsals we’ll see where prevention programs end and the tough work of leadership begins. At West High, where no one is left on the sidelines during dances and the homecoming royalty challenge stereotypes of popularity, insisting, “Here, it’s cool to be nice,” we’ll show how a school’s culture can be transformed into a place where bullying isn’t tolerated, offering hope and a real model of change to schools who say it cannot be surmounted.
The Bully Project is a character-driven film. At its heart are those with the most at stake and whose stories each represent a different facet of this crisis. From the first day of school through the last, The Bully Project will intimately explore the lives of a few of the many courageous people bullying will touch this year.
I can't even imagine my perfect little boy being treated like that, or worse, treating someone else that way. I just hope that as adults we can put an end to this problem. From where I stand it starts with leading by example.