bully-dvdBullying is a real problem.  We see it in schools, in parks…. even in the workplace.  The Bully Project follows 5 American families affected by bullying.  It is beautifully done and portrays the real struggle that many live through.

Two families suffered the loss of a child who committed suicide.  These boys were 17 and 11 years old.  There is a gay teenage girl who is struggling for acceptance in her community and wants to make a difference in the world;  a young teen brings a gun to school to scare her tormenters and faces juvenile detention.  Last but not least is Alex, who says he’s starting to feel like he doesn’t feel anything anymore.

It’s important that we realize that bullying affects everyone.  I was a normal kid but I had big hair, big glasses, and a quirky sense of humor.  I enjoyed school, I was involved, I liked most of my teachers.  I was terribly timid and by the time I worked through the shyness and built some confidence I’d spent years being bullied by a kid name John.

Looking back, it wasn’t really that bad – and nothing near what the kids in this movie go through.  But back then it felt like I was alone in the world and I wish someone had shown me HOW to stand up for myself.

At one point Alex’s dad tells him to stand up for himself, that people don’t respect a punching bag.  It’s not enough to tell our kids to ‘be confident’.

The Bully Project does a great job at exposing the problem – and its up to us to effect change.  Watching this movie I got angry.  Angry at school administrators who can’t – or won’t – create a zero tolerance policy.  Angry at the parents who felt helpless for their children but didn’t give them tools.  Angry at the kids who watched from the sidelines.

And that’s exactly how it should be – we SHOULD be angry.  Our teens and pre-teens need to see this.  They need to feel that uncomfortable sickening sensation creeping under their skin.

It starts with one – Let’s take a stand and change the world, one act of kindness at a time.

The DVD is available online and in retail stores nationwide.  Watch it!  Not convinced?  Check out this other review at Ottawa Mommy Club.