For those of you who have been following the efforts to get the rating for the documentary “Bully” lowered from an R to a PG-13 … the wait is over. Not only has the rating been changed, but the movie opens this weekend in Pittsburgh at both The Manor in Squirrel Hill and AMC Loews at the Waterfront.
Ronna Edelstein of Oakland wrote a nice letter to the editor published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on this topic (changing the rating)
Like Katy, I was bullied in what was then called junior high. Like Katy, I now bear the emotional scars left by the insensitive words and painful actions that others inflicted upon me. As a middle school teacher for more than two decades, I worked hard to create a “dare to care” attitude within all my students in order to curtail or stop the bullying that occurred within the school.
While I support and applaud Ms. Butler and her campaign, I ask her and all those involved to go one step further by creating documentaries on bullying for elementary through high school students. While more prone to bullying than younger children, teenagers do not suddenly awaken one morning and decide to bully. They learned this hurtful behavior years earlier; they practiced throughout preschool and elementary school. We need to teach respect — for self and others — at a young age.
I tend to defer to a seasoned middle school teacher that intervening earlier would be helpful. I remember the transition for 6th grade elementary to 7th grade junior high as one of the biggest changes in my life – our entire social strata was turned upside down with the convergence of 4 different groups of elementary school students at Lebanon Junior High, plus the presence of the 8th graders!
It is important that we as a community support this movie, evaluate the message and bring the lessons back to our young people. Ledcat and I are hoping to see the film Friday evening so I’ll be sure to let you know.