Movie News

Capone calls the controversial doc BULLY a missed opportunity to dig deep into the heart of a very real problem!!!

Published at: April 14, 2012, 1 p.m. CST

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

The much talked about new documentary BULLY from director Lee Hirsch (AMANDLA!) has mostly been discussed in terms of its rating, and of course the idea of this film getting an R rating is foolish, bordering on insensitive. But what hasn't been discussed much is the film's content beyond a few swear words, and there's a reason for that. The film is average at best at achieving what it sets out to do, which is to start a dialogue about this clearly out-of-control issue that is directly leading to high school teens committing suicide or, in extreme cases, students seeking revenge on their bullies via school shootings.

But BULLY is a blatantly missed opportunity that fails to deliver a very crucial piece of this situation. We've seen victims of bullying before, we know them well and how much they offer and internalize the humiliation they experience. And as sad and empathetic we feel for the kids featured in this film, bullying is a learned behavior. Despite what we learn in some horror movies, kids aren't born bad, so bullies are bred, often by factors on their home life. And this film doesn't deliver a single first-person account of a bully or his home life. Bullying isn't going to stop unless there are real consequences faced at home, but this film ignores that fact and treats these few bullies we briefly see as creatures that don't exist outside of school, which is nonsense.

My guess is that people's reaction to BULLY will be strongly linked to how deep a personal connection you make with the material. I suspect former or current bullying victims or the parents or siblings of such people will react quite strongly to the film. Of course, there's no denying the impact you'll have watching a child get pummeled on a school bus or being subjected to foul verbal abuse. Perhaps equally as shocking is how utterly ineffectual both teachers and school bus drivers are in dealing with these countless incidents, whether the child be simply socially awkward or has nerdy hobbies or is a minority or is gay (no, I'm not equating the four; I'm just saying these are all reasons kids in this movie get picked on).

There are certainly moments in BULLY that are extremely moving and powerful. One child, nicknamed "Fish Face" by pretty much everybody, tells his family about getting beaten and choked on the bus and how it doesn't bother him because he doesn't even feel it any more. At that moment, you look deep into his eyes and wonder what kind of adult this poor kid is going to turn into. But then there is another girl who reacted to bullying by bringing a gun on her bus and threatening those who tormented her. When you hear the circumstances of her actions, you may question her being in this movie at all, since we never actually hear the specifics of her bullying. Instead, the film focuses on her court case and whether a bullying defense will work to ward off several cases of kidnapping. The police don't believe any amount of bullying justifies bringing a gun on a school bus, and of course they're right.

But every time a counselor or teacher or school administrator uses the "kids will be kids" reaction to a child coming directly to them to complain about being bullied, I wanted to throttle them, and it's in those moments when BULLY gains some power. But in order to confront this terrible, seemingly growing trend, the filmmakers should have looked into the eyes of the monster and attempted to get a bully to talk. This probably would not have been an easy interview to get, but I don't think it would have been impossible either. Bullying is a predatory behavior, and by forcing the bullies to understand the consequences of their actions, the lesson learned here might have saved two lives at a time instead of just one... or none.

Don't expect your mind to be blown or your eyes to be opened. There's very little new information here. Instead, BULLY gives us tough story after tough story, and I'm not quite sure how that is supposed to inspire change. If you decide you want to see this movie, temper your expectations substantially. All that you've read isn't based on the substance of this film, just the bad words.

-- Steve Prokopy
"Capone"
capone@aintitcool.com
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Readers Talkback

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  • April 14, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST

    A bully's home life...

    by Sir Loin

    ...is exactly what I thought of when I saw the hype begin to build around this film. The fact they didn't show it is indeed a real opportunity that's been missed, sadly.

  • April 14, 2012, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Actually...

    by AugustusGloop

    There is a brief moment, as the assistant principal is interviewing the children taped on the bus, when you hear them... and in their own words, they don't think what they're doing is a big deal. You don't see their home life, but it is a glimpse inside their minds. The problem is impressing on these kids that little things repeated over and over add up to a BIG hurt. I don't know how effective this film is going to be, but watching it was like reliving my entire K-12 life. I went through many of the same things as the kids in Bully, and worse. And no, parents don't always teach it. I was bullied by kids who had really great parents, parents who were nice to me and had no idea what their kids were doing in school any more than other parents know what is happening to their kids. The biggest thing that bothers me is when someone calls it 'horseplay' or even when people call it 'bullying' they're ignoring what it REALLY is... abuse and harrassment. If adults were to do some of these things to each other, they could face criminal charges. Why are schools reluctant to severely punish this kind of behavior? They're quick to spout about no-tolerance policies for cheating or drugs... even suspending children for bringing Tylenol to school, but in cases of bullying, it's handled with a meeting and a slap on the wrist at best. I won't be happy until every school can proudly boast that they have a zero-tolerance policy against bullying.

  • April 14, 2012, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Parenting skills

    by UnfoldingSquid

    I don't know why this has become such a hot topic. If parents weren't so lazy these days and would just take a few minutes to talk to their own kids, instead of trying to pass EVERYTHING on to the schools, then maybe they could pass on some life lessons to their children. I was bullied growing up in school too, but my father taught me to stand up for myself and once I did the bullies left me alone. It's a simple fact of life and one that will continue to haunt you even after you leave school if you don't learn how to deal with it. Instead we have absentee parents who expect the public schools to do their jobs for them, which is impossible, and withough any real guidiance kids are turning to suicide and guns (which lets face it, if the kid is getting his hands on a gun the parents are once again not paying attention to what their child is doing).

  • April 14, 2012, 1:41 p.m. CST

    SOUTH PARK WAS RIGHT

    by shalashaska

    THEY ARE LITTLE BABIES> PUT IT ON THE INTERNET FOR FREE

  • April 14, 2012, 1:59 p.m. CST

    UNION INDIFFERENCE

    by bobbofatz

    Bullies should be shot on site. Shot with an armful of empathy. Have 000 tolerance for school yard Aholes. Some ribbing is good for character. Constant,daily bombardment can affect fragile youth for years or ever. The teachers union should spearhead reform if it is truly about the "children". The Weinsteins should make the movie free, if it is not about $. Yeah it is about muney.

  • April 14, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    I haven't seen this film

    by Rick Webb

    The most likely reason for the lack of the bullies' perspective is that the viewer would most likely sympathize with them, as well as the bullied. Take that how you will.

  • April 14, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    When will the Weinsteins be jacking into San Diego?

    by mdk

  • April 14, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Bullying will never end.

    by ShogunMaster

    It's an evolutionary tool that we use to acquire social status. The people at the top of the social status get the best girls, jobs, life. The ones at the bottom get picked on by the many because the many want to establish that they themselves aren't at the bottom. In any tribe, society, country, whatever, there is always an alphamale and therefore, always a beta. Or omega in this case. There is always a boss at work, always someone who fetches their coffee. It's true with chimps, lions, any group of animals. The only time we ever really tried to make anything 'equal' in society was the experiment with Communism, but even then, the 'leadership' took away from the 'rest'. You might not think you're a bully cus you don't beat the shit out of some 'funny looking' guy. But if you walk into Walmart, you're bullying some poor Chinese kid who works 20 hours a day for near nothing. If you live in a rich nation, you are part of the problem bullying the third world. This works on a micro level as well as a macro level. I think we've all been bullied in one way or another, and ya it sucks. But the fact is, we are genetically/evolutionarily inclined to bully others in order to make our own selves/genes successful. And that means stomping on someone else.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Teachers' Unions are the Real Enemy

    by Atomike2

    If you disagree, you don't know anything about this topic, or anything else related to education. Almost every single problem with education can be traced directly to the actions of teachers' unions. Educate yourself. Then work tirelessly to destroy these evil organizations.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:16 p.m. CST

    So, someone should make a film called "Bullied"...

    by The Dum Guy

    And, focus it on the bully. A lot of people love attention, so it shouldn't be that hard to get someone to allow you to film them being an asshat. I've read a lot comments from the review of this movie, and while many people share their experiences being bullied, I don't think I've read a post from a former bully. I think a lot of people have engaged in bully like behavior, but most people look back on their past and think of it as just ribbing on someone... Ok, I admit it, I once got a nerdy guy to tell a chubby girl she "smelled", which caused her to start crying.... I was a horrible fucking person.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Atomicmike2

    by WerePlatypus

    High school teacher here. I disagree. Honestly, if we have a union here in Texas, I don't know about it. Reality. . . there IS no enemy. It's just a bunch of people, teachers, parents, students, adminstration, cultural influencers, political figures, et cetera. . . it's just a bunch of people in a mess. I big mess with complexities and few real solutions. Stop winnowing everything down to a single boogyman to make yourself feel like you understand the problem. Atomicmike2, you don't understand the problem. . . but I'll bet knowing there's a "boogyman" out there to blame sure makes YOU feel better, doesn't it?

  • April 14, 2012, 3:26 p.m. CST

    shogunmaster - Very good points.

    by sweeneydave

    But I think what sets us apart from the animals is that time and time again, humans are sympathetic creatures. There's even a descriptive word for it - human. We feel more human when we treat each other humanely. This means, putting our selfish desires aside and really working on doing something for someone else - regardless of whether it's going to create a change or not. This goes above spirituality and is a yearning in religious and nonreligious people alike. We want to do good. We want to help. We want to make this world better. And it's true that we are in a constant war with OURSELVES - our animalistic selfish innate behavior. And that's okay. The fact that most of us try to think and care a little more about others than we care about ourselves is a good thing. It's true that this bullying nonsense is never going to go away. But it's important that we never give up the fight, and that we teach our children the same.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST

    As a teacher, I honestly have never seen bullying

    by WerePlatypus

    Never, in four years, have I EVER seen it. . .or at least I think that's true. As someone who was bullied a bit, I've wanted to be as hyperaware as possible, and I would certainly take it seriously if a child ever came to me with a problem. Unfortunately, no one ever has. Has anyone ever been silently picked on when my back was turned? Maybe, it's hard to say. . . I don't have eyes in the back of my head. Has anyone ever denigrated someone in the halls, or called them a negative name in a way that construed as bullying? Again, hard to tell. . . during a five minute passing period I hear a TON of pretty foul stuff (high risk campus). I've even broken up a couple of fights and deescalated tension between kids a dozen times. Which of those kids was the aggressor? Was there a victim there somewhere? Honestly, I have no idea. . . The problem is more challenging to stop than you think. All we try to do is keep the campus educated, students and teachers, and the counseling office is an open door. The main problem at our school is that many kids who may be bullied are not making it known to an adult. One thing I can say for sure . . . seeing administration NOT taking a claim seriously really boils my blood. . . and I can tell you that the absence of response to bullying does NOT happen at my school. On the other hand, the "he said/she said" lying of teenagers is pretty outrageous, and since not all kids have film crews hanging around to substantiate claims, it can be hard to punish. Mostly, we have to change around the schedule of the kids getting bullied. I wish I had something more postive to say about this. . . but I've been in education for a few years now, and the more I see, the more I understand how complicated the problems are, and the less I believe I have any real solutions.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Not all bullies had a troubled home life, Capone

    by tangcameo

    Some did, as I later found out. Some had a majorly fucking horrible home life. But there were others who were just assholes to begin with. And others, who at that stage, were learning about power and respect, right and wrong, and hadn't figured it all out yet, and were doing really really awful things that would have been signs of mental illness if it were being done by an adult and not a ten year old. And a lot just emulated the others doing it. And others who were going along because they were happy they weren't the target.

  • ...I was also the son of the new school principal. It was the perfect storm and from Grade 5 to about Grade 9 life was hell.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:04 p.m. CST

    @wereplatypus Bullying was never meant to be seen by the teachers

    by tangcameo

    It happens when the teacher is out of the classroom, or not watching, or after school when all the teachers are in the staff room, or during recess when the teacher supervising isn't watching or is distracted. Or online where the teacher has no jurisdiction. It was phonecalls in my day. Ten years after I graduated, one of my bullies left a message on my phone. He was stoned and having flashbacks and saying he and his friends (other former tormentors) were driving up to where I live to visit me. Bullying is covert. Hide a camera and a mic in your classroom, walk out for a while. Watch it later, trust me, you'll catch something. ...although that's probably illegal. p.s. Sorry for the run of posts. This subject just gets to me.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Well Said, Capone

    by THX1968

    I rarely see eye to eye with you AICN guys, but "Bully" really does seem like a wasted effort. Unfortunate, that.

  • April 14, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Lol @ has snyder been fired!

    by Shia_LaBeoufs_Mutant_Hand

  • April 14, 2012, 5:38 p.m. CST

    You are clueless Capone - some kids ARE born bad

    by Rupee88

    I could explain this to you but not even going to waste my time with the obvious..but people are animals with no major division between us and monkeys or bears or dogs.

  • It's all about self promotion and Anti Bullying gives companies an open door straight to the kiddies to pander and bullshit them. Bullying doesn't end in high school. Anti bullying campaigns don't address a damn thing that causes bullying. It's just a bunch of flag waiving do goodery.

  • April 14, 2012, 7:18 p.m. CST

    It's funny seeing weird little kids beat up on

    by BoRock_A_Boomer

    Always has been and always will be

  • April 14, 2012, 7:19 p.m. CST

    the united states government is by far the biggest bully on the global block.

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

  • April 14, 2012, 7:28 p.m. CST

    tangcameo

    by WerePlatypus

    I see your point on that, though for liability reasons (and my high risk campus), I would never leave the kids alone in my classroom for any reason. Honestly, when I was bullied as a teen, it never, even once, occurred to me to tell my parents, a teacher, or anyone. I think bullied children produce a feeling of isolation. . . there is some shame and guilt because they feel weak, or powerless. It was also easier for me to shrug it off, as I moved a dozen times before I went to college. Not every school was the same experience re: bullying. I don't think bullying can be stopped, but I do think the feelings of powerlessness in the those bullied can be mitigated by effective outreach and support services for both kids and parents. Certainly, more education for everyone will help. Some kids are assholes . .. they have asshole parents, and when they breed, they will have asshole children. That cycle of behavior is simply beyond public education's ability to fix. . . but we could at least support the victims.

  • April 14, 2012, 8:22 p.m. CST

    Bullshit! It can be hard wired!

    by matthooper8

    My best friend when I was growing up had great parents. They had two children, and they were wonderful to their children. My friends big brother was a bully. Thankfully not to me because I was best friends with his younger brother, but I saw it first hand. His parents were wealthy doctors and although they worked a lot they were good parents. I spent most of my young life at their mansion because it was the coolest place on earth. My friend was not a bully. His brother was, it was hard wired. FACT

  • April 14, 2012, 9:47 p.m. CST

    but you see matthooper people cant accept that.

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    They can't accept the fact that some people are born sociopaths due to our cultural Marxist society. After all, according to both democrats and republicans we are all the same. We are all the same.

  • April 14, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST

    danielnocharismacraig

    by matthooper8

    So true. But it's not just politics why we are blind to it. Everyone needs to blame something. They can't accept that some people are just born bad. Does Capone think all psychopaths come from bad childhoods. They don't. So why would bullies? Some people are born gay, some are assholes, some bullies, some brilliant. It's just that simple. Sure bullies can be made, but I'd bet most are just born that way.

  • April 14, 2012, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Maybe there was nothing missed.

    by matthooper8

    Maybe most of those bullies had no home life that influenced their bullying. I've never read a study that says ALL bullying is learned, which is what Capone writes. He says;"bullying is a learned behavior. Despite what we learn in some horror movies, kids aren't born bad, so bullies are bred, often by factors on their home life" What footnotes can he offer to back that up? According to that quote, all bullies are made from societal factors. That is not true. That is the biggest load of shit I have ever read, ever!

  • April 15, 2012, 12:51 a.m. CST

    A lot of bullying stems from a basic feeling of superiority

    by kirttrik

    When kids think they're better than the one kid who is different in class(poorer, fatter, different race, etc.), and when those kids are left on their own with no adult supervision (Parental or otherwise), they will eventually begin taking out their aggression on that one kid. The kids doing the bullying could have a great family life, or a terrible one, it doesn't matter because the motivation stems from a belief of being superior to the one they are bullying. Personally, I'm OK with them focusing on the victim instead of the bully. A lot of times the bully is believed to come from a violent home life, in which case they get coddled and nurtured by school officials. This usually happens even if their pattern of bullying doesn't change. The sad truth is most bullies think that they are just joking around and having fun, even to the point when they begin pointing guns or knives at you. People forget, bully's have guns too, it's not just the victims.

  • April 15, 2012, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Have we all become a bunch of social darwinists

    by kirttrik

    I mean, does everyone on this site think empathy equates to weakness. If so, we should be teaching kid's who are bullied to TAKE guns to school. Bully is as bully does.

  • And yes, if children are being sent off to a prison like atmosphere like public schooling then they should all have the right to carry firearms. A well armed society is a polite one.

  • April 15, 2012, 2:12 a.m. CST

    the benefits of a

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

  • April 15, 2012, 2:12 a.m. CST

    oops typo above.

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

  • April 15, 2012, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Yeah, we're all victims (and bullies)

    by v3rlon

    Look bullying is bad. I do not dispute that. Certainly, try to improve it. BUT (and this is a big but) every single one of us has been both the bullied and the bully. Yes, even you. Remeber that time you dropped the hammer on that waitress for crap service? Or you got that guy in trouble/fired for being snarky with you? Or maybe you got the chance to show the most popular girl in school that she was just as mortal as the rest of us. Maybe you pointed out all the weight she gained at the reunion. I don't care how empathic and understanding you think you are, at some point you've used whatever you had against someone else. I have never in my life met anyone who didn't. YOU don't think you're bullying them. YOU don't think you are doing anything wrong (at least at the time). For whatever reason, in your mind they deserve what you're dishing out. The person on the receiving end is having a nightmare time. They might be overly sensitive, thin-skinned, or you might be taking out some frustrations on them that aren't their fault, but you were the bad guy in their story. Heck, just read some of these talkback forums and you can see tons of behavior that would qualify, but now everyone here was a victim? And, every kid on the block is using the "I am a victim of bullying" excuse for whatever acting out THEY are doing (which is usually a worse version of what they are complaing about). People need to learn where and how to stand up for themselves because it is a part of how we grow up. There are people out there who will push you as far as you will let them and be perfectly fine with your discomfort. In the end, we are a predatory species, and no amount of making us pretend to be care bears is going to change that. People get picked on because they are different, but EVERYONE is different (so everyone gets picked on). You could be too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, too nerdy, too jock, too black, too white, or too plain average. There is no escaping it, and pretending it is something new or something that is getting worse or something that can be cured is just garbage. Teach people to deal with it properly (that doesn't mean to just take it or to take it to an extreme). Also. that person you think has a charmed life and escapes all of this? They have their own problems and theirs are just as bad to them as yours are to you. As far as it goes, I have my own 'bullied' story from high school. Someone there decided to bully me for whatever reason. He would talk trash, try to walk through/over me, shove me, and one day he spat on me. I invited him to settle things with me after school in the parking lot. Instead, he went home, found his mother cheating on his father, and shot her and her lover. It was more than 20 years ago, and I wonder to this day if one of those bullets had my name on it.

  • April 15, 2012, 7:27 a.m. CST

    The fllow up should be called "Grow Some Balls and Stop Being a Pussy"

    by alienindisguise

  • April 15, 2012, 7:27 a.m. CST

    *follow

    by alienindisguise

  • April 15, 2012, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Best examination of the cause of bullying is...

    by Jon Hyman

    Season 1, episode 9, of Louie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1717353/ In which Louie follows home a teenage who was giving him a hard time in a diner, to tell the kid's parents what an asshole the kid is, only to discover that the parents are abusive to their son. Bullying is a learned response, and until we address that problem, the problem will not go away, no matter how much attention we throw at it.

  • Friend Request Denied!

  • April 15, 2012, 10:42 a.m. CST

    I think the last South Park nailed this thing.

    by elsachmo

    I understand what they're trying to do, but it is just ridiculous to put children on film that are being bullied. They are too young to understand the entirety of it. I'm sure their lives have gotten much worse since becoming the poster children for bullied kids. They will all really regret this when they get older. And I agree with the South Park episode that this is all about making money, not helping people. Otherwise, it would be available to the world for free.

  • April 15, 2012, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Clearly out of control issue? Based on what evidence?

    by Royston Lodge

    There is no evidence to support that claim. By nearly all objective standards, the lives of children and adolescents have never been better. Infant and adolescent mortality, accidents, sex and drug use—all are down from their levels of a few decades ago. Acceptance of homosexuality, in schools and in the general public, is at the highest it's been since the Roman Empire, especially among younger Americans. When it comes to school violence, the numbers are particularly encouraging. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between 1995 and 2009, the percentage of students who reported "being afraid of attack or harm at school" declined to 4% from 12%. Over the same period, the victimization rate per 1,000 students declined fivefold. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303404704577311664105746848.html

  • April 15, 2012, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Not surprising

    by Lummox JR

    That this film fails to deliver on its hope doesn't surprise me a bit, because it's done with the exact same seriousness we bring to all issues now: none. For some reason our culture has become enamored of "raising awareness" over discussing viable solutions. When did we go from engineers to passive observers? This vapid underwear gnome mentality has to end. Raising awareness is not step 1, with some vague unmentioned step 2 leading to step 3: resolution. No. This is refined stupidity. Serious problems need serious problem-solving, not empathy without action. Step 1 is studying the problem and which approaches are known to work which don't. Step 2 is finding ways to expand on the methods that help and phase out those that don't. Step 3 is to repeat step 1.

  • April 15, 2012, 11:45 a.m. CST

    I'm an athletic director at a high school...

    by mypalfish

    and, from what I've seen, bullies often do what they do just because they have a "mean streak." There are no home-life issues, the parents are decent people, etc. Some people just are not nice, it's not any more complicated than that.

  • April 15, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Re: lummox jr

    by SK229

    You're absolutely right and it applies to all areas of civic life nowadays. Even when solutions are presented, all the flaws are pointed out without offering alternatives or marrying the best parts of various solutions... it's all or nothing and guess which of those two we usually wind up with?

  • It's just one of those "I need to assert my superiority so I don't fall into a beta position myself." Almost a pre-self defense mechanism.

  • April 15, 2012, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Parents are NOT always to blame.

    by SpaghettiWall

    Some of the most notorious bullies were the very wealthy children. People will use their status as a motivation to undermine others.

  • No one here can look at this objectively. Either the comments consist of "yeah, people are dicks" or "Stop whining and man-up". Let's face it, look at our culture and our history, we LOVE bullies. Any kid in any school will equate bullying behavior to manliness. The real problem is that there are zero consequences to bad behavior in our public school system. There needs to be some type of consequences for bad behavior that can actually give all kids involved proper guidance. Good behavior is voluntary not mandatory in k-12 schools. How can you teach when you have a class of 30-40 students who can act anyway they want, and how is that teacher going to be able to notice what's going on between each student in the class. Usually what happens is the teacher gives up on all the students except the 3-5 that seem interested in learning. It is a horrible situation.

  • April 15, 2012, 11:50 p.m. CST

    bullying is NOT learned behavior. NOT bullying is what is learned.

    by antonphd

    kids need to be disciplined by adults authority figures to NOT bully. that means parents, teachers, law enforcement, coaches, pastors and older relatives are responsible for making sure that a kid learned to be civilized instead of acting like an animal.

  • instead the kid is permitted to bully both by the parent not stopping the kid, but also by reinforcing the acceptableness of the behavior by engaging in it themselves

  • April 16, 2012, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Just hire Casey Heynes...

    by mjgtexas

    That kid had the perfect body slam and tempered response.

  • April 16, 2012, 1:04 a.m. CST

    As a teacher

    by wrath 4771

    One of the biggest problems with bullying that I think gets ignored (or not enough attention) is most bullying happens where teachers can't see it. Bullying doesn't happen in my classroom and it doesn't happen in the halls between classes when I'm at the door to the classroom, but what happens in the bathroom? The locker room? There are too many places where teachers/administrators don't have eyes. I'm glad I'm part of a school where bullying is taken seriously. My favorite story was a slightly autistic child being picked on (he was noise sensitve) and he finally snapped on the bully. Four teachers were right there to break it up. Once we got the story, the bully not only got a week suspension, but when the bully's parents found out what was happening, they had their kid personally apologize to the victim in front of his whole class. I know that doesn't happen often, but it was nice to know there was one incident that was squashed.

  • April 16, 2012, 6:14 a.m. CST

    Bullying Will Get Worse

    by nemov

    You notice how every perceived problem real or imagined is out-of-control? I'm not saying bullying isn't a problem it most certainly is, but when un-wed births are approaching 50% the number of children being raised by morons will continue to grow.

  • April 16, 2012, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Kids are just wimps today...

    by ZodNotGod

    Simple as that...I have not seen the movie, but i bet dollars to donuts that not once is it ever suggested that the kid Alex fight back... We have lied to ourselves and to the kids that fighiting is always bad and never serves a purpose, which is wrong, it serves a great purpose. Alex needs toughened up, I feel for the kid, he's being lied to by adults aroud him it seems and told to never fight when in fact that's exactly what he needs. If he tolerates bullies now, he will as an adult and he'll gradually hate life and kill someone. ALL kids shoudl learn how to fight. A best case scenario, they'll never have to use those skills, but in case they do the problem will be nipped in the bud. Bullies are cowards, take their power away and they go the other way... I wish Alex knew this... poor kid.

  • April 16, 2012, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Parents are even worse than the wimpy kids...

    by ZodNotGod

    Besides being dumb, they want their kids to be safe constantly and think the bully issues can be resolved by "talking it out," which is usually never gonna happen. As said before, bullys thrive on power, control and some just get off on being mean. They only modify their BS when the power is taken away.

  • April 16, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Not ALL bullys have terrible parents...most but I've known...

    by ZodNotGod

    many that had good/great parents. Sometimes people are just born to be assholes. Nothing scientific about it, it happens. Some are serial killers, others are gay, others are left-handed, others are right...there is probably a bully gene in there too...just like everything else, only through guidance and teaching is all of the bad stuff surpressed. We are all just naked monkeys.

  • April 16, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST

    another victim heard from....

    by Homer Sexual

    I was bullied by one specific person all through high school. Nothing was even attempted, but that was 30 years ago and it was a different time. Now I work in a high school, and I will honestly say there is much less bullying than in the 80's. Back then, everyone thought it was "normal" and acceptable, that mindset it totally gone today, at least in my area. It's like saying there is an epidemic of homosexuality today. Really, its the same as always but now its visible. Since bullying is no longer considered "play," it gets more attention. As with anything, my fear is that some people will turn every little thing into harassment, thus belittling the damage done by real bullies. Just addressing this issue shows progress.

  • April 16, 2012, 11:33 a.m. CST

    but, zod..

    by Homer Sexual

    fighting back isn't really an option for many kids. they will simply get the crap beaten out of them. We do have bullies at the school I work at, even groups of them. It requires strong, decisive action on the part of adults. Sometimes fighting back will work, but many times it isn't an option. It's like Milhouse trying to take on Nelson.

  • April 16, 2012, 2:25 p.m. CST

    I understand, but there are alternatives...

    by ZodNotGod

    A kid like Alex in the movie needs to enroll in Karate classes, word would get aroud, he'd kick an ass or two and get a rep for not being a punching bag. By at least attempting to look strong is half the battle. I'd rather try and take a beating than just take the beating.

  • April 16, 2012, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Karate classes are useless. They don't teach self-defense.

    by Royston Lodge

    Kids' karate classes are about as useful as ballroom dancing lessons.