Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself. -Harvey S. Firestone
This past week I watched a screening of the upcoming movie/documentary “Bully” directed by Lee Hirsch. It was a highly emotional experience for every educator in attendance and the conclusion many of us reached was the same: we think we know what’s going on with our students but in reality, that’s not always the case. In fact, getting to know our students is an ongoing process and I believe that we, as educators, must be responsible for creating the safest environment possible and hold ourselves accountable if we fall short of that expectation.
One of the most powerful and emotional scenes was listening to a mother who lost her son after he committed suicide following years of being bullied. She expressed exactly what I, as a mother, also feel when I leave my son at school. Our children are our precious babies, our treasures, the most important people in our life. We entrust them to educators who we believe will teach them, guide them, and protect them from harm. The responsibility we take on is immense but it’s our job to take it as seriously as a parent would.
I shared my thoughts and feelings with my students and they felt that we should take it a step further by creating a school initiative after looking deeper into the issue of bullying. I will be sharing our unit and progress in a later blog.
I highly recommend that all educators, parents, and students over the age of 11 watch the movie/documentary. It captures the raw and cruel reality millions of children face each day at school and opens the floodgates to conversations and issues we need to address in our classrooms and schools.
Here are some helpful links:
- Movie Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjjeHeAzZZM
- The Bully Project http://thebullyproject.com/
- Bullying.org http://www.bullying.org/
- National Bullying Prevention Centre (USA) http://www.pacerkidsagainstbullying.org/
- Teens Against Bullying http://www.pacerteensagainstbullying.org/#/home
- Powerpoint Presentations about Bullying http://facs.pppst.com/bullying.html
A good book to read:
Bullying: the bullies, the victims, the bystanders