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Jennie's Journey

Bullying topic brings about discussion-worthy film

There is a new film that is making audiences across the nation talk about a topic that for many generations has been dismissed, bullying.

The film is entitled "Bully" and there have been commentators discussing the fact that the film was originally rated R, but a few edits were made to get a PG-13 rating.

That is important because people of all ages need to see the movie and talk about the issue, which has evolved from childhood pranks to truly serious crisis situations.

When watching news programs, there's often video footage of severe beatings, stories about youngsters committing suicide because of bullies and parents who condone the behavior.

"Bully" is a documentary, which means the events in the film truly happened to the five youngsters featured in the film.

I have seen clips from the movie trailers and it saddens me to hear one of the youngsters talk about being strangled while riding the school bus. The trailer shows such an incident and another trailer includes footage of the principal dismissing the problem, stating the youngsters on the bus are well-behaved.

It is hard to believe there are still administrators and parents out there who do not believe bullying is a problem. I didn't believe we were ignorant to the problem any longer.

Unfortunately there are still some who condone the behavior, including parents who wish to believe bullying only toughens weaker individuals.

I wonder if they were ever bullied and if so, how do they feel about how they were treated. I know adults who still wince at the memories of what they endured growing up and I know adults who were allowed to bully others. There are some who realize the behavior was wrong and others who have continued to bully others into adulthood.

Some of the local schools recognize the epidemic for what it is. In an effort to curb such behavior, the schools have had programs and presentations.

Administrators in Grandview are taking it a step further. At Grandview Middle School the administration is seeking to implement a new school uniform policy. The aim is two-pronged, to eliminate gang activity and help prevent bullying.

I do recognize that some people see the bully situation for what it is. However, there are still those who have much to learn. For that reason, I believe everyone should take the opportunity to see "Bully." I think we could all use a reality check on how severe the situation truly is.

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