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Student Film: Don’t be a Bully

By Amy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 15, 2008 5:44PM

bullies.jpgEighth grade students from Franklin Middle School in Champaign have written, produced, and acted in a short film about the effects of bullying. Part of an anti-bullying curriculum that will be instated by Franklin and other schools throughout the U.S. next year, the film shows some situational examples of bullying and its consequences, and hopes to make an impact on bullying by provoking classroom discussion on the topic.

Bullying has gone high tech since the days that we were in grade school; now the internet and text messaging have become additional avenues for cruelty. A more traceable form than the typical schoolyard taunts, but much more secretive – private worlds mean private suffering … unless someone tells. And tattling, unlike bullying, is not an acceptable behavior for kids, which is why attempts are being made to stop bullying at its source.

Social experiments like Vivian Gussin Paley’s “You Can’t Say You Can’t Play” debunk the theory that bullying among children (or other age groups – ahem) is an inevitable and irreversible behavior. But after recently reading a very disturbing Post Secret, we wonder – will this film on bullying end up being a deterrent, or an instructional video?