Our View: The importance of viewing ‘Bully’
It wasn’t too long ago that most of us were standing on a playground somewhere.
It probably isn’t a stretch to say that the majority of us, at one point or another, witnessed someone being bullied or harassed on that playground. It also probably isn’t much of a stretch to say that we didn’t do anything about it.
But for the past three to four years, the reports of bullying, and suicide as a result of bullying, have taken an alarming leap.
Yale University did a 2008 study that concluded victims of bullying are two to nine times more likely to consider committing suicide. Unfortunately, 17-year-old Tyler Long and 11-year-old Ty Perkins were victims of bullying and did take their own lives. According to parents and classmates, both experienced regular harassment.
Their story, as well as students who are experiencing the harsh reality of bullying today, are highlighted in the recent documentary “Bully.”
The film, which the MPAA originally labeled as “R” rated, has drawn support from celebrities, students and educators for addressing an issue long ignored and overlooked.
They insist the movie, though it does include harsh language, should be rated as PG-13. It makes sense, as the educators who need to show this movie and the students who really need to see it are blocked as a result of the rating.
USA Today reported that “Bully’s” distributor, Weinstein Co., recently released the film without a rating, which allows theater owners to decide whether they’ll bring it to their screens.
With the headlines showing more and more young adults and children taking their lives after experiencing harassment, it seems imperative that educators and a young audience see this movie and fast.
We have to wonder why the MPAA would risk allowing an important message to be delivered because of a few harsh words. Sure, the filmmaker could probably edit those out, but would the dark and gritty reality that is bullying still translate?
We encourage you to see the movie when it’s available near you, and we encourage you to pass on the lessons it teaches you to your brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, cousins and children, until the rating allows for them to see it too.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.