MondayFiled under Counseling, Social Justice
The movie, Bully, is a powerful exposé of the pain inflicted by bullying. It chronicles the insidious degradation that children and families experience when students misuse personal power to attack their peers and educators fail to marshal their power to stop the bullying. The movie is also a reminder that we don’t have many answers when it comes to solving this problem. As a researcher and a prevention educator in the field of bullying, the point must be made that this movie offers all of us the opportunity to begin a dialogue about this problem, but by itself, this movie will not change anything.
The controversy surrounding the MPAA rating of Bully highlighted the fact that many people believe that showing this video to youth under the age of 18 will change the behaviors of those who engage in bullying. It is important to realize that single event programs are not an antidote to bullying. They heighten awareness and sensitivity for a short time, and perhaps even temporarily motivate children to change their behaviors, but in the long run, one-time presentations do not work. They are a good springboard for conversation, but they will not solve the problem of bullying in our schools.
As an educator, one of the most difficult moments to watch in the movie is an attempt by an educator to get a victim to reconcile with his tormentor. It was a perfect example of the failure to understand bullying. Bullying is the systematic and systemic abuse of power. In order to reduce bullying, we need systemic change that alters the power dynamics. Whereas most efforts to reduce bullying have focused on the bullies and their targets, and on changing them, systemic change is about changing the context in which bullying occurs. It means shifting power away from those who misuse it and increasing the power of those who can protect those who are targeted.
All entries filed under Social Justice
13 responses - Posted 03.21.12
Every year as a faculty member in an urban-focused, university-based teacher education program, I pose the following questions to the teacher certification candidates and certified teachers in my classes: What is your vision of social transformation, and how far are you willing to go in your capacity as classroom teachers ...continue
1 response - Posted 04.13.11
On the Monday evening of April 2, Warner’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) and Allies Special Interest Group screened the film It’s Elementary, shining light on how educators can address LGBTQ issues in the classroom. Throughout the movie and into the panel discussion, I began thinking about this idea ...continue
2 responses - Posted 03.23.11
I love this time of year. This is the time of year where the snow begins to melt and the sun starts to shine, when it is no longer dark outside at 5pm, and when my utility bills starts to creep down to an affordable price. Additionally, last ...continue
6 responses - Posted 03.09.11
Last Wednesday I arrived to campus at approximately 9:00am. After having a quick conversation with a fellow doctoral student I decided to take a walk on campus. While on my walk I was greeted by a familiar face, a service worker who I often have a 30 second conversation ...continue
5 responses - Posted 02.09.11
Education in today’s society is a definitive indicator of an individual’s earning potential and social mobility. In light of this reality, parents are constantly searching for ways to provide their children with a quality education that would afford them a greater earning potential and the possibility of upward social mobility. ...continue
8 responses - Posted 02.02.11
Last Tuesday the Warner School hosted a screening of Schooling the World, with a fantastic panel discussion afterward. The film covers a lot of ground, from economic globalization and neocolonial ideology to sustainable farming and the Buddhist aspects of Ladakh culture. It attempts, successfully in my opinion, to disrupt simple ...continue