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A Teacher’s Response to “BULLY”

Our partnership with the new documentary “BULLY” is helping thousands of students across the country see the serious consequences of bullying.  While we’re obviously big fans of the film, we thought it would be useful to share some thoughts from a teacher who recently took her students to a screening.  Check out this response from teacher all-star, Anna Morphew:
I teach at a small K-8 charter school in the first ring suburbs of Minneapolis.  Over 85% of our students receive free or reduced price lunch, and many of their parents work multiple jobs to keep their families going.  We recently had the chance to take our entire middle school (over 70 students) to see the movie “Bully” thanks to DonorsChoose.org, Chase, and Townsend Press.  Many of our students (like a lot of middle school students) like to think they are tough and cooler than everything.  We were a little concerned that they wouldn’t take the movie seriously because of this, so we did a lot to prepare them.  In their language arts class, they watched the trailer and discussed what they saw.  Before leaving on the trip, we separated them by grade and gender to have some discussions about how bullying has affected them and people they know.  We were so impressed by the discussions they had.  They were honest and took the issue seriously.  At that point, we couldn’t wait for them to see the movie.
The movie was definitely intense.  There were times when the whole group gasped in shock at the things we were seeing.  Many students have told me they were fighting back tears throughout the movie.  Afterwards, I heard many comments about how the students thought the movie was sad, but very touching.  We have already begun to see changes in our students.  One student went up to another right after the movie to apologize for the way she had treated the other student in the past.  Another student admitted to a teacher that he realized he has sometimes shown bully-like behavior.  We’ve also seen a higher awareness of bullying behavior.  If a student is teasing someone, either the student being teased or another student is much more likely to speak up and point out that behavior as bullying.  As a teacher, I try to make my classroom a safe, bully-free environment, but the movie has pushed me to think about this even more and try to improve how I handle conflicts between students.  The movie has not solved all of our problems, but seeing it has really helped us and our students make changes that we know will last well into the future.
We are so thankful for the opportunity to take our students to see the movie “Bully.”  I know that it will make a lasting impression on our students and staff.  If you have the chance, I would highly recommend taking your students to see it.  Thank you so much to DonorsChoose.org, Chase, and Townsend Press for making this happen for so many students and teachers across the country!
Teachers, there’s still time to take your students to see “BULLY” for free, thanks to our great partners.  Check out this previous post for more information.
Donors, you can also help support a class trip to see the film.

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