I found myself in tears the other morning. Listening to a morning radio show. Like, a morning comedy radio show. You know the kind, an ensemble cast headed up by a strong, boisterous, opinionated, comedic personality, taking calls, reciting some of the more interesting news headlines, joking about what each of them would do in a ludicrous situation...
The host of this very same morning radio show had surprised me last year when, after a particularly poignant episode of Glee and a related PSA the previous night, he spoke out (albeit briefly) against the use of the "r-word," sparking a bit of a debate amongst listeners on his Facebook page, of which I stepped in and gave my opinion.
The host of this very same morning radio show had as a guest the other morning, the very same morning that had me in tears, the director of the new, unrated movie, Bully, Lee Hirsch. I'm sure you've heard about this movie. At least, I hope you have. While I have not yet seen it, I am hoping, hoping, hoping, with every teensy tiny last little bit of me that is capable of hoping, that every. single. man. woman. and child will see this movie. Funny to say that, when I haven't seen it myself, but just thinking about it give me goose bumps. It's that important.
Bully is unrated. This means that regardless of content, anyone of any age can go to see it.
Bully is a documentary that follows the lives of several school children who are victims of bullying.
I was in tears listening to Lee Hirsch speak, listening to his passion and thinking about how IMPORTANT this film is. I am in awe of him for putting this together, for fighting so hard for it to remain unrated, for advocating so strongly for those who are bullied, for getting the message across to everyone that Bullying is NOT Okay. (okay, getting teary-eyed again...)
Bully follows the children to school and at home. Hirsch said that it was very difficult not to step in to defend the children when they were being tormented, like in an incident on a school bus, but he said that he and the children had an agreement about it, that they were all for the necessary struggle that would bring everything to light, to perhaps change their worlds.
I can't even imagine.
And my heart goes out to these children and to all of those that have gone through or are going through incidents of bullying, no matter how small the incidents may seem to some. Because they're not small. Not to the victims. One shove, one act of public humiliation, one act of private violence works to kill them inside, works to kill who they are. I hate the word kill, and find it uncomfortable to type, but this is an uncomfortable topic.
Hooray for Lee Hirsch and to Lady Gaga as well, both strong advocates seeking change!
I want nothing more than to protect my daughter, to see her thrive in a world full of love and acceptance. I know that there are some very real obstacles that threaten to stand in the way. I hope, hope, hope, with every teensy tiny last little bit of me that is capable of hoping, that things are changing in the right direction, that this world full of love and acceptance can be realized in the not-too-distant future.
I wish for Bully to be mandatory viewing for all students of all schools, and shame on the parents that would keep their children away from it, shame on the educators that would deny its importance and power to make schools a safe place, to make their students better citizens of the world, shame on the children and adults who would watch and not be moved to make a difference.
Pass it on...