The companion to the graphic 2011 documentary Bully, which premiered on the big screen after winning a hard fight for a PG-13 rating.
With the assistance of freelance writer Santorelli (Baby Grand, 2012, etc.), editors Hirsch and Lowen dedicate the book to “the thirteen million children who will be bullied in the United States this year, as well as the generations of children who came before them." Not only is the bullying epidemic blighting the lives of the children who are involved, driving some to suicide, but it also leads to school shootings and other violent hate crimes. With the advent of 24/7 social networking, it has become even more invasive in children's lives—especially because bullies can target their victims anonymously. Several of the young people featured in the film, and their parents, tell their stories, including their reasons for participating and the aftermath. One of the most shocking stories is that of Tyler Long. Taunted for being a “geek and a fag” and ostracized, he hung himself; following the tragedy, the bullies who had tormented him went to school wearing nooses. The school district refused to participate in a community meeting addressed by Long's parents. The latter half of the book offers tips to parents on how to recognize symptoms that their children may be suffering from bullying—e.g., lack of friends, unwillingness to go to school, returning with lunches uneaten or torn clothing. The authors report that one main challenge children face is the refusal of parents to take them seriously when they try to confide their problems.
A valuable resource that will help empower communities to deal with this deadly social plague.