Written by Ilissa Banhazl, MFT-
I saw the film “Bully” yesterday at the Laemmle theatre in Claremont. It was very good. You really should take your children to see it and talk about it afterwards. It was sad but the situation is. The film shared different families and students dealing with bullying and some even suicide. Not all of us look or fit into the mainstream. These are the kids who suffer. It made me angry because I could think of at least a half-dozen things we can do in the school’s to prevent bullying but no one in the film or our schools, including the principal seem to know how to do this. We need to teach compassion in schools.
These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. I say, saturate the students with the ins and outs of bullying and how it affects others. Make a safe place for the child being bullied as well as a place for the bully to get support because chances are he is being bullied at home. Start a group at school for Bullying. Create a school environment where students protect other students.
1. Start on the elementary level and introduce bullying with no tolerance.
2. Make anti-bullying a part of the curriculum from elementary through high school just like we did with the Dare (anti-drug program)
3. Show this film in schools and have a discussion afterwards.
4. Set up a peer group/club for anti-bullying.
5. Have students make posters to hang around the school.
6. Make incentive programs with rewards for handling issues with other students through communication. Teach the student how to respond to the bully.
7. Teachers must protect these bullies and bullied children and deal with them & their parents. Don’t ignore it or say, “Kids will be kids”.
Seriously go see “Bully”. Take some time to write your local official asking him/her to implement an anti-bully program into your school!