The "Bully" in theaters
Monday, April 30, 2012 at 5:44PM
Terence Houlihan in bullying, school, teenagers, teens


BULLY… It is not a new term or concept in American society but yet it still evades us.  In fact, I’m sure many of us can recall a memory from childhood or our teen years when we were subjected to some form of bullying behavior; whether it was physical or the more veiled emotional and psychological forms.  Our memories are sure to evoke feelings of sadness, isolation and anger.  Unfortunately, the feelings remain long after the torment has ended.

I saw the movie “Bully” over the past weekend and left the theater with an overwhelming sense of sadness.  It seemed the theater goers understood that victimization is wrong.   I listened to them call out to the screen when the parents and school officials didn’t know what to do.  There they sat, outraged at the injustices perpetuated on the victims and their families.  And while the images on the screen represented only a small number of schools, kids and families suffering from this victimization, we could insert any town or family in America, because bullying is pervasive in our society and is only beginning to receive heightened attention. 

If we are to really grapple with this issue we must be ever vigilant of the signs.  We must turn our focus to “seeing” it happen in our schools, in our communities, in our homes and in our online communications.  We must get behind a common language that expresses intolerance for these behaviors from our children and from ourselves as adults.  To effect impacting change, we must educate both the victim and the bully.  Only then will our children cease to feel the loneliness and self-loathing results of this torment, and only then will they cease to take their lives in hopelessness. 

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