When Nick was in elementary school he was bullied by a fellow classmate. The most painful thing about it for me as his Mom was that he kept it to himself for quite some time before telling anyone. That my small boy carried around the weight of something so painful on his tiny little shoulders broke my heart, and it still does to this day when I think back to that time. One of the reasons he didn’t tell anyone was out of fear that the bullying child would retaliate, but it was also because he didn’t trust in the adults at his school. The teachers who were there to educate and ultimately look after him for several hours of every weekday had let him down. Well a few of them had anyway. In the past when he had gone to them for support, they dismissed him, not believing what he was saying to be true. As adults who work with children, or who parent them, it is extremely important that we listen to them. I mean really listen to them until they feel heard.
When I recently saw the announcement of a new movie focused on the topic of bullying, I knew I had to do all that I could to share, promote, and convince everyone I know to see the film. Known as The Bully Project, the movie has a powerful message with a trailer that breaks my heart as I can’t imagine losing my child in such a horribly painful way. No child should ever have to experience being teased, picked on, or bullied by anyone else. I truly believe this movie could be a wonderful way to start a conversation with our kids about their own painful experience, about behavior they may have witnessed in their peers, or about how they may be treating someone else in a way that is mean or hurtful. This kind of conversation isn’t an easy one to begin, but I promise you, it could make all the difference in your child’s life. It could be the moment that they stop feeling alone. They simply aren’t going to just come up and tell you if they are personally being bullied. More often than not, they remain silent.
The film opened in a few select cities on March 30, but will open nationwide this Friday, April 13th. I hope that it will be showing at my local movie theater and what I’d really like to see happen is for each and every student at my son’s middle school be required to watch the movie. More than anything, though, I hope the movie will save at least one child from the horrible kind of torture known as bullying. Here’s the trailer: