Oklahoma Children Take Stand Against Bullying in New Movie ‘Bully’
The documentary 'Bully' slated to open this Friday features the shocking stories of several children who were bullied in school. Ty Field-Smalley, from Perkinks, OK, was only 12 years old when he put a .22 caliber gun to his head and pull the trigger. Smalley took his life because he was tormented and bullied in school!
Smalley’s story is one of several stories told in Bully. His parents have made it their lives’ mission to educate people about bullying!
According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 40% - 80% of school-age children experience bullying at some point during their school careers, and only half of that actually gets reported.
When you think of bullying, maybe you think about being stuffed into a locker in 7th grade, or maybe being told you are too smart or too dumb. In reality, bullying has become so widespread it is everywhere. There’s cyber bullying, gay bullying, adult bullying, child bullying, text bullying, workplace bullying, and school bullying -- the bullying possibilities are endless – but need to be stopped, especially here in Oklahoma.
The movie’s director, Lee Hirsch, is a former victim of childhood bullying and he wanted to bring this story to life.
“I knew there were millions and millions of people who had a connection to bullying,” Hirsch said, “and there hadn’t been any [film] out there that was for them, that was real and raw and truthful – and also empowering.”
The movie had faced an obstacle of the R rating for language, but finally was able to get a PG-13 rating. Hirsch was adamant about wanting a younger audience to see this film because they had the most to gain from the content.
Due to the high numbers of children who take their lives because of bullying psychologists have came up with the term ‘‘bullycide’ which refers to children who commit suicide from being bullied!
But who is to blame for bullying? After all children are not the only ones tormenting one another. More and more stories of teachers bullying students are immerging.
For example, Kelby Johnson, a Tuttle native, knows firsthand what it was like to have not only her classmates bully her because she was gay, but a teacher to join in with them.
“I remember one teacher who was calling roll,” Johnson said, “and she was like, ‘Boys,’ and then said ‘Girls,’ and then she stopped and said ‘Kelby.’ There were a lot of snide remarks from teachers. None of them had my back. They joined in with the kids, a really unsupportive school system.”
Bullying can be expressed in many forms, some time it can be difficult to pin point, but experts are advising to seek counseling for your child if one or multiple of these signs occur: child who exhibits the signs of anger, difficulty in school, difficulty keeping friends, or is being disrespectful, this child needs emotional support before they turn to bullying to express their feelings.
Oklahoma, it is time to take a stand against bullying. Let’s join together this Friday and fill up the movie theatres. Encourage those around you to become more educated on bullying and how to prevent it. Not only will you be spreading awareness, you will be saving lives.
If a loved one or someone you know needs help reach out to 1-855-201-2121! How do you think we can protect our children from being bully?