I’d wanted to see Bully for quite some time. Little did I know that by the time I actually saw the film I would have pulled my child out of his school because of the repercussions of bullying and would be just days away from beginning to homeschool him.
Perhaps it was because of my own experience that I was shocked and saddened by the film.
Let’s be real here–I was not, unfortunately, shocked by the bullying in the film. I saw plenty of it when I was in high school. In fact, one time I saw a large senior football player slam a freshman football player so hard into the lockers, the freshman’s eyes literally rolled back in his head. I thought he would pass out, but he managed to stay conscious. Unfortunately, the freshman was bullied by the senior repeatedly.
However, what I was shocked by in the movie was everyone’s reactions to the bullying.
When one family finds out how badly their son is being bullied (only because the filmmakers showed them footage of the abuse that they were worried would escalate), the mom asks her son, “Do you like being bullied?” I know she meant well, but this was a kid who was being strangled on the bus. That was not exactly the first question she should have asked.
Even more shocking was one school administrator’s reaction to the bullying. Blase doesn’t even begin to describe her attitude. After one teen comes in with a noticeable bruise after recess, she makes the bully and victim shake hands. The victim refuses. She lets the bully go with no further punishment and admonishes the victim, telling him that he could probably be good friends with the bully if he just tried.
When the parents of the boy routinely being strangled on the bus (among other things), complains to this same administrator, she claims she’s ridden that bus before, and the kids were good as gold.
This film follow 5 children who are victims of bullies. I’d highly recommend this movie to anyone, but have a box of tissue beside you. I couldn’t get passed the opening scene without crying.
5 out of 5 on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.