At 6:10pm this evening, KCRG aired a story about our effort to bring the movie “Bully” to the Dubuque community. I was afforded the opportunity to talk briefly about the prevalence of bullying in our community, emphasizing the dire need for all of us to take notice and to get involved in prevention.
At 7:15pm, my cell phone rang. On the other end was a mother in tears. Her daughter has been bullied for years. She fought back the tears as she told me how her 12-year-old daughter tried to kill herself last week. She doesn’t know where to turn. This mother went on to tell me that she has repeatedly talked to school administrators teachers, and counselors, but to no avail. ”Nothing is being done! What am I supposed to do? I don’t know what to do.”
At 7:33pm, an administrator of the school district that this 12-year-old is in emailed me to let me know that it is going to be difficult to get the students to see the movie. ”It’s a busy time of the year, Josh.”
At 8:10pm, a comment was posted on the story on KCRG.com that detailed the movie coming to Dubuque. She wrote the following: “Dubuque has a severe bullying problem. My son is even being bullied by a para at his middle school. It’s outrageous! We’re moving, it’s no place to raise children.”
It’s 9:15pm now and it’s time for bed, but I can’t sleep. I’m worried about the 12-year-old that tried to kill herself. How many more girls and boys are out there right now thinking of ending their lives due to being bullied? I’m worried that the school districts will not do everything in their power to get their students to this free movie. And what about our community? Will they respond? We need every mom, dad, pastor, youth leader, mentor, priest, nun, and coach to spread the word about this movie.
2 hours just passed and nothing has changed.
I’m asking that we all take this very seriously. This is more than seeing a movie. This is about starting a conversation, acknowledging that a problem exists, and committing to getting involved. This is also about validation. By attending this film, you are validating the experiences the 13 million kids had this year when being bullied. You’re saying that you do care, and that you want things to change.
Changing the world is serious business. Let’s start by going to the movies….I’m buying.