Bully | Teen Ink

Bully MAG

May 7, 2012
By kristinaleiter BRONZE, Miami Beach, Florida
kristinaleiter BRONZE, Miami Beach, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“Bully,” directed by Lee Hirsch, is a documentary that looks into the lives of a number of families affected by bullying in an attempt to shine some light on this issue. As each story is told – whether it's Alex, a 12-year-old boy with Asperger's who is kicked by fellow classmates on the school bus, or Kelby, who is shunned by her hometown for being a lesbian – my eyes were red and teary.

I'm sure part of my emotional response was because I was bullied throughout elementary school for being a bit chubby. As Alex talked about his nickname, “fish face,” I immediately thought of mine – “chunky monkey.”

The movie definitely ­accomplishes its goal of bringing awareness of the injustice that so many kids face. One ­father, whose son committed suicide as a result of bullying, said he believes the bullies are murderers. This was extremely compelling. It left me thinking: bullies are the ones who make their victims' lives so miserable that they lose their desire to continue living, so, yes, in a sense they are murderers, and the blood of the victims is essentially on their hands. This documentary does a fine job demonstrating that.

I had an emotional response to every story, and believe me, nothing is held back. Before seeing the movie I was afraid that each story was going to be the same, but I was wrong. Each demonstrates a different way one can be bullied and how it impacts not just the ­victim but his or her family as well. It also shows how being bullied can push a teen over the edge.

“Bully” is a provocative documentary that really opened my eyes, and I'm sure it will do the same for anyone who sees it. Bullying has gotten out of hand, and something needs to be done. This documentary is a good start.

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