Bully, a documentary about bullying among youth, was released last weekend amid intense controversy about the film’s rating. In the end Bully was released without a rating, leaving the decision about who should/could see the movie up to parents, young people and educators. The Disciples approved a resolution (see link below) on this subject at the Nashville assembly in 2011.
It is well worth the energy and time to see this movie with both youth and adults from your congregation. For information about the movie as well as advocacy and educational materials related to bullying go to: http://action.thebullyproject.com/
A few discussion starters after viewing the film:*
- What is bullying? Can you define it?
- What is at the heart of bullying?
- How does this film reveal some of the effects that bullying has on a child or teen?
- Did the response of the parents in this film frustrate you? What is the role of parents if they suspect their child or teen is being bullied in some way? How can silence or denial on the part of parents add to the pain of a child/teen being bullied?
- Do you feel that this film was fair to the school administration? Is there a role for school instructors/administrators in preventing or responding to bullying? Are there limitations?
- What if you were in the room when one of these kids/teens was being bullied? What role should a Christian take in a situation where someone is getting bullied?
- Christianity is not always painted in a positive light in this film. Perhaps fairly. How might some “Christians” distort Christianity and justify or participate in bullying?
- Why don’t more of us defend those who are being bullied?
- Should our helping depend on the reason someone is being bullied?
*Some of the questions are drawn from the work of Warren Throckmorton, The Golden Rule Pledge and Dave Cover, The Crossing Church
Below are some excellent resources including lesson plans, legislative and advocacy ideas, and video resources. Also included is the full text of the General Assembly resolution from 2011 and a pastoral letter from Sharon Watkins.
- A Pastoral Letter from Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President
- General Assembly Resolution 1123
Great Legislative Links for Education and Advocacy: