The Bully Project: What’s the Solution?

13 million kids will be bullied in the U.S. this year. That’s the problem. What’s the solution?

Recently, I was blessed to attend a private screening of the new documentary Bully, arranged by my school as part of a professional day. The movie is a powerful and emotional portrayal of one of America’s biggest social problems – and probably the most significant issue faced by American schools today. On a side note, I thought the cinematography and film editing were phenomenal. Lee Hirsch has outdone himself on this documentary. But I digress…

The problem is obvious. The most profound observation I am left with following the movie is a question of solution fluency; that is, how do we solve the problem?

Traditionally, bullying is viewed as an act of agression and the focus is on punishing or rehabilitating the bully to protect the victim. However, this movie illustrates the global nature of this problem across several demographics. Bullying isn’t just about the bully. It’s also about the victim. It’s about witnesses. It’s about parents. It’s about teachers. It’s about administrators. It’s about law enforcement. It’s about politicians.

Why haven’t any of these groups found a solution to this insidious social problem? I think the answer lies within another fluency…collaboration. There is no one person or group that can solve this problem. We have to work together to put an end to this. It’s about us. Teamwork will lead us to the solution.

Please, comment and share your thoughts on the movie and the issue.

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Posted on 17 April 2012, in Collaboration Fluency, Digital Citizenship, Global Awareness, Solution Fluency, Videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. integratedintention

    I think the single biggest thing we could do to reduce bullying is to treat students more adult-like. In the adult world physical violence is rare – everyone knows assault is a very serious crime. I’m not saying we enter bullies into the criminal justice system – but there must be a happy medium somewhere between that and toothless warnings. Sometimes I think adults overcomplicate issues. Kids know though, as long as they can get away with bulling relatively unscathed, they will never stop. Of course, parents are going to need to get onboard for that to work, which is probably the real problem.

  2. hhfreshenglish

    I think more emphasis needs to be given to teaching students coping mechanisms. Yes, we need to address the bullies as well, but we will never remove all the problems kids have to face, so how do we equip them with the skills they need to cope with the problem in a way that is productive rather than destructive. What struck me while watching the documentary was how several kids faced with the exact same kind of bullying can have very different reactions (suicide vs. just stick it out vs. try to make a change). Coping skills go beyond just telling students to find an adult and tell them what’s happening. Its about building students up from the inside out so that they have the confidence to face whatever is thrown at them and the belief that they have intrinsic valuable, regardless of what their peers might say.

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