Have you heard of Bully, the movie? If you haven’t you may be living under a rock like the people from the Gieco commercial!

But seriously, the documentary Bully, formerly known as The Bully Project, was made by Lee Hirsch as an attempt to provide a fl-on-the-wall perspective for the nation to see how bullying plays out in schools and in so many kids’ lives.

I am excited to announce that it is playing right in our back door at the Regency Rancho Niguel movie theater (1 hr 39 min; show times have been extended through next Thursday at 11:50 a.m., 2:20 p.m., 4:50 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.).

Thursday, in a nationwide effort to show support for bullied children with special needs, the director of Bully is offering a special needs toolkit that gives adults and children valuable tools to stop bullying when they know it’s happening, and prevent it from happening in the future.

Be a part of the Bully Free World online Day of Action for special needs Thursday, May 3. Here is what you can do:

  • Share a link to the toolkit with your social networks.
  • Tweet with the hashtag #BullyFreeWorld.
  • Like, Share and Retweet our #BullyFreeWorld messages.
  • Share your story about how bullying of kids with special needs affected you.
  • Encourage your friends to get involved.
  • RSVP to our event on Facebook.

Stirring national attention and media uproar for receiving an “R” rating right out the gates, Bully brought the national spotlight to the movie’s subject matter. Some say it was a publicity stunt, but I believe that Hirsch was simply trying to hold a mirror to youth in a realistic way, and a few F-bombs landed him the “R” rating. With such a rating, schools threatened to ban it, which would have defeated the whole purpose of making the movie in the first place.

Enough nationwide voices and anti-bullying advocate organizations spoke out to pressure the Motion Picture Academy to lower the ranking to PG-13, and it has since been shown to millions so far in select theaters.

Bully Buster USA was there to support the opening weekend, promoting the launch of the new to let movie-goers know that they have a local resource for fighting Bullies through the new smart phone anti cyber-bullying app Word Bully™ 3.0, and the upcoming anti-bullying Workshop May 19 at 10 a.m. at Zen Dojos. I want to send a special thanks to the Rancho Niguel theater staff and their awesome Manager Greg for being so supportive!

I am excited to have this film make it to Orange County. I think that is has a great chance to give its audience pause for reflection. I also believe that it has potential to spark sincere efforts to collectively work together to stop bullying before it starts.

Hirsh’s message in Bully was clear enough to engage the audience through his voicing of the victim’s side of the story. The lack of “professional commentary” allows for the movie to be a springboard for post-viewing discussion on the issue rather than forcing a solution or pointing fingers at schools, parents, or systems.

The look on the faces of the parents who lost their children was worth a thousand words, and hopefully worth millions of people finding a voice to take steps to join together to create an army against bullying.

This is a must see!

Ryan Foland

Bully Buster USA

Follow me on Twitter @BullyBusterOC

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