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Volume 28, Number 3
May/June 2012

Bully, the Documentary

Painful film is a must-see for teachers and students alike


The film’s Alex Libby, 12, was bullied at his middle school in Iowa.

Schools and bullies are so closely linked that even young kids who feel threatened know to avoid unsupervised areas: school yards, locker rooms, stairwells, cafeterias, the school bus. The only problem is, of course, they can’t.

Now comes a documentary that will make even the most complacent adult feel the terror that school bullies can inspire. Bully, which opened nationally April 13, offers a hard look at the kind of violent and emotional abuse many children face daily when they leave for school in the morning.

The film’s award-winning co-producer and director, Lee Hirsch, who was once a victim of bullying, has said in interviews that he made the film for the “12-year-old me.” The trauma, he has said, stayed with him for a long time, and the point of the film is to illustrate the seriousness of the problem.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.