With the release of Bully, more eyes than ever are on the growing issue of bullying and the impact it can have on teens around the world. Here are a few choice reviews representing various critical opinions on Bully, now playing in limited theatres near you.
Bully is less a checklist plan for eliminating abusive behavior than an emotionally powerful wake-up call for a society too long in denial.
Hirsch seldom gets face time with any bullies or their parents, and he tends to ignore the complicated social and psychological patterns that feed the problem.
The best Hirsch’s film can do, in the end, is remind us that bullying means more than we admit, and its effects aren’t always immediately clear, even to loved ones.
We feel sympathy for the victims, and their parents or friends, but the film helplessly seems to treat bullying as a problem without a solution.
Bully is definitely worth the watch, but it may not provide a clear outlook to alleviating the growing problem of bullying, instead showing the state of the victims of bullying and the impact it can have on them socially and psychologically.
Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act
On the same day President Obama screened Bully he also announced his full support for the Safe Schools Improvement Act as well as the Student Non-Discrimination Act with the hope of providing federal support to the ongoing bullying issue. An official White House statement for the support of the bills was given as well:
“He [President Obama] is proud to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act, introduced by Senator [Al] Franken and Congressman [Jared] Polis, and the Safe Schools Improvement Act, introduced by Senator [Bob] Casey and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez. These bills will help ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying, and harassment.”
If you would like to take a look at the proposed bills, they will be linked below. Here are a few snippets of the findings from Congress as to why these bills are important, if you’d like to read them all, please take a look at the full text of the bills themselves.
Safe Schools Improvement Act – http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.1648.IH:
- Bullying fosters a climate of fear and disrespect that can seriously impair the physical and psychological health of its victims and create conditions that negatively affect learning, thereby undermining the ability of students to achieve their full potential.
- Bullying and harassment contribute to high dropout rates, increased absenteeism, and academic underachievement.
- According to a recent poll, 85 percent of Americans strongly support or somewhat support a Federal law to require schools to enforce specific rules to prevent bullying.
Student Non-Discrimination Act – http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.555:
- Public school students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (referred to in this Act as `LGBT’), or are perceived to be LGBT, or who associate with LGBT people, have been and are subjected to pervasive discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation, and violence, and have been deprived of equal educational opportunities, in schools in every part of the Nation.
- When left unchecked, discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation, and violence, in schools based on sexual orientation or gender identity can lead, and has led, to life-threatening violence and to suicide.
FamilySignal will continue to keep you updated on the status of these bills and ongoing important bullying-related items in the media.