I went to see "Friends With Kids" yesterday. It was a pretty good movie, kind of a "When Harry Met Sally" except Harry and Sally decide to have a baby together and stay just friends. But as anyone knows, men and women cannot be friends because the sex thing always gets in the way.
But that isn't what I am going to write about. Since this movie was an indie film, it had all those indie trailers in front of it that you don't see when you watch "21 Jump Street" or "The Hunger Games".
One of the trailers was for the movie "Bully". It has been in the news a lot due to rating issues. Apparently there is a lot of language, specifically the "F" word. The makers want this to be shown to high school students and they can't do that with an R rating.
The trailer is heart wrenching.
The message of this film is important. As a kid I was teased, excluded and once in a high school math class, taunted until I cried while the teacher was out of the room. Kids can be cruel. I can't imagine how difficult it is today with social media added to the mix.
My fear is that the wrong people are going to see this movie.
This movie addresses the unfortunate children that are targeted. There is a family who's eleven year old child was so distraught that he killed himself. No parent should ever have to bury a child.
But what about the kids that are doing the bullying? I can't imagine these children or their parents seeing this film and making a change.
How do we stop our children from being cruel to each other? How do we get them to accept the differences in their peers rather than ostracizing them? I know self esteem is important. Kids should believe in themselves and be strong. But is building that good self image at the expense of any child that is different in any way? How do we foster strong children who don't need to push others down to feel good about themselves?
I don't have the answers.
They can put teachers in the hallways. They can put an extra adult on every bus. But until the people who are sending these children into the world work toward change, nothing will happen.
In movies there are underdogs. But they always have their moment of triumph and success. But this isn't a movie, this a documentary and these are real kids. In every school there are kids who go to school every day and are tortured by their peers. They are never going to get that magic makeover and date the quarterback. They aren't going to save the day and find acceptance where it wasn't before. They are going to keep falling down and getting kicked while they are there. Somehow these kids keep going back every day. I don't know how they do it.
Just the trailer for this movie makes me bereft. I don't think I will be able to watch the entire film.