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Bullying Initiative

Movies about bullying

Balthazar, N. Ben X. (2007). No MPAA rating, Fair Lawn, NJ : Film Movement. The protagonist, Ben, is autistic.  Movie begins with a video game that plays prominently in Ben’s life.  It has scenes at school where he is bullied with things thrown at him.  A video clip is taken of him after students carry him across the room and they cause him to strip off his clothing.  This clip is posted on the Internet and a form of cyberbullying occurs.  After the cyberbullying, Ben attempts suicide. He is saved by a female friend from the video game.  Movie ends with a mock funeral where it appears that Ben has passed away.  The video clip is played and a message is given during the service that reveals who his abusers are and the ways in which Ben’s life has been complicated by bullying.  The movie is in Dutch with English subtitles. Subtitles do not impact the message; it is a powerful one.

Hirsch, L. & Lowen, C. Bully. (2012, March 30). PG-13. Submarine Entertainment: The Weinstein Company. Movie shares the compelling stories of four youth who have been bullied. The parents of one youth who committed suicide in response to the bullying he experienced at school share his story and provide insight into ways that their family has been impacted by his death. Another story follows a youth at home, on the bus, and at school where we see him bullied and observe administrative action that does not address the problems he is having at school effectively. A third story recounts the experiences of a gay student in a conservative, non-accepting community. The fourth story follows a girl who has been bullied repeatedly on the bus who decides to fix the problem by bringing a gun on the bus. Although no one is hurt, she spends time in juvenile corrections.

How to Eat Fried Worms. (2006, Burbank, CA : New Line Home Entertainment). After bringing worms to school on the first day of school and throwing one of these worms at the class bully, a boy named Billy becomes “worm boy.”   He is eventually challenged by the class bully on to eat 10 worms in one day.  Some scenes show family influences on the bully.  Bully and his friends sabotage Billy’s attempts to eat worms.  When the bully’s brother comes to bully him, Billy stands up against him their friends stop the bullying.  Movie is based on a book by Thomas Rockwell (1973).   Book is used in some schools and activities are available related to it and activities related to this book are available at One of Billy’s friends who plays a role in stopping the bullying is a girl.

Valasquez, F. (2007, September 12) .Teen Truth: Bully & School Violence. This 22-minute bullying presentation was prepared by students. One review of the program indicates that it does not have solutions. However, this program is promoted as a way to initiate discussion of school bullying.

Waters, M. Mean Girls (2004, April 30). PG-13. Paramount Pictures. Story of a girl who enters high school after being homeschooled by her parents while they conducted research as zoologists in Africa.  Girl ends up being involved with a group of girls, the “Plastics,” who abuse other girls in the school including some who had originally befriended the protagonist, Cady. Cady begins her involvement with this group because her first friends want revenge on the leader of the Plastics.  Things eventually resolve with a twist of events that brings down the leader of the Plastics.  Show could be a good starting point for a discussion of peer relations.  Although the movie is only rated PG-13, there is some language that makes it inappropriate for middle school students.