Irvington High School student Aishwarya Aravind wrote an article about the film “Bully” for the October/November 2012 parent newsletter.

 

"...the movie is a very intense depiction of an issue that must be dealt with earnestly at all levels everywhere. "

Review of movie "Bully" by Aishwarya Aravind

The movie 'Bully' poignantly portrays in three short stories, the impact of bullying on three different children. Overall, the movie is a very intense depiction of an issue that must be dealt with earnestly at all levels everywhere. I recommend further discussion regarding bullying of school children, so administrators can get student input and take the necessary action to curb it.

Here are brief summaries of these three stories:

1. In the first story, the movie shadows the oldest boy of a family of two parents and four children. This boy considers bullies to be his friends even though they pick on him, call him names, and make fun of him. His mother talks to him when she notices damage to his belongings or when there was bodily harm to him, but she does not know the full extent of this issue since he does not tell her about it. On the bus to school, he undergoes physical harassment. The film makers at this point bring the footage to the administration and parents due to the increasing harm to the boy. During the parent meeting with the vice principal, the latter does not say anything to alleviate the parents' concern for their son. Furthermore, she also describes the bullying children on the bus "as good as gold" even when the video footage proves otherwise. This was one of many meetings that the parents have had with the vice principal but with none of them yielded any assurance of safety for their son. Later on, a guidance counselor meets with the boy to discuss his troubling experience and she asks him why he did not come to her about this problem. He replies that complaining has not worked in the past. She becomes defensive and recalls a past case when this boy raised a different bully issue that she felt was addressed. The boy responds, rather sadly, that that complaint only addressed one type of issue, and that the bully still does other things to hurt him.

Note: The audience laughed at the obvious disregard shown by the vice principal.

2. The second story follows an African American girl who lives with her single mother and also has extended family/close friends. This story begins with her mom proudly showing off her daughter's "comfort area" and her numerous basketball awards. The mom recollects her daughter telling her that she was going to join the Navy and help out her mom who works long hours to support her daughter. The mom then describes how she received the call from the police but that she did not believe them at first until they identified "the girl" as her daughter. This girl was so overwhelmed with fellow students bullying her on the bus that she took her mother's gun and brandished it around on the school bus. She totaled more than 20 misdemeanors for taking out the gun in the bus that was full of children. She was being bullied for her race and ethnicity, but the administration did not do anything about it. She says later, "I didn't mean to do anything" but was constantly frustrated but the persistent bullying she had to endure on a daily basis.

3. The third and final story follows a homosexual girl, the daughter of parents who teach at church, in a predominantly Christian community. The parents, the dad especially, states that they taught their students that homosexuality is a sin "till it happens to you". Despite the fact that these parents have taught so many families in their town, everyone shuns this family just because of their daughter's personal choice. Everyone at school, including the teachers, makes fun of her, taunt her, and single her out. The girl mentions that she could have received a scholarship for her basketball skills, but after the coach found out, she wasn't even allowed to play. However, she has three good friends (three other girls) who keep her happy and curb the depression she had been facing, including doing such things as cutting her wrists). Her parents had proposed that they can move so she can have a better environment to live in, but she said declined the offer saying that this "will let them win." In the end, however, the dad says the family is moving to a place that will inspire and not bring down his daughter.

 

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