13th July 2014
The movie ‘Bully’ is a documentary and the message that it delivers is both troubling as well as moving. It shows us how some kids are constant sources of misery to others whom they consider to be different from the masses. Bullying has become a norm of our society and it is especially common in classrooms, cafeterias, school buses as well as in a principal’s office or in the teacher’s room. (Marriner, 3) ‘Bully’, is not only about the bullies and their victims but it is also about how this form of cruelty is embedded in our society as a whole. It is a wake-up call for schools and their administration not to ignore or downplay bullying but to confront this problem and change the school culture as a whole by developing support and solution centers both for the victims and their families.
The movie Bully is based on the lives of five kids and their families over the course of a school year having different backgrounds and living in four different states. This movie is a conscious movement amongst oppresses and isolated kids who initially face being made fun of and picked on by the ‘in’ group but as a last straw rise up to fight against these oppressors and their intolerable treatment. One of such oppressed kids is Alex, a fourteen year old from the Sioux City of Iowa. He is a victim of bullying. On the school bus and in the classroom he is daily teased, humiliated and assaulted. His tormentors stab him with pencils and bad mouth him but still he doesn’t report them or say anything against them and in his own sad, pathetic way consider those bullies to be his friends nor does he tell his parents anything. When asked about school and the bullies, Alex shrugs his shoulders and says that it’s just all of us messing around and he still doesn’t out the bullies for fear of worst treatment. When Alex’s mother goes to talk to the PA for a change of bus the PA tells then that the school will definitely change Alex’s bus however all of them are good as gold and the jokes and torment are a normal process which they shouldn’t take so seriously. In another scene which is sad as well as heart breaking and infuriating and painfully revealing is when a boy, Cole is in a fight with one of the other boys at recess in Alex’s school. The assistant principal arriving on the scene tries to settle the fight by asking both boys to shake hands. While one of them who is the initiator too the fight does so easily with a smile and an apology, the other boy, Cole who is the victim though unknown to the assistant principal refuses and resists. The other kid is let of hooks and goes his merry way while Cole is scolded for not co-operating. When Cole tries to explain that he is in fact a victim of mental and verbal abuse, the assistant principal tells him to just let it go as the other kid is sorry and has already apologized. (Merritt, 1-3)
Another one of such oppressed kids was Tyler from Georgia who was a seventeen year old student who committed suicide after he could no longer face the continuing harassment. According to a boy, in one of the scenes from the movies, he states that even he was a victim of bullying for three years and not even his parents, grandparents or the school administration did anything to stop it till Tyler committed suicide and only then was this problem addresses in the Murray County schools. (Bazelon, 1-5) Through Bully, we see in the life of Kelly Johnson who is a high school student in Oklahoma. She is a lesbian and hence she and her family are shunned both by their neighbors as well as friends and Kelly is not only bullied by her fellow classmates but also by her teachers who are equally involved in taunting her and making her school life miserable. (Child, pp…..)
In my opinion, the movie Bully is a good start to a necessary conversation and is a movie that was needed to be made. At one point or another every one of us has been bullied or has been...