Panel reacts to watching "Bully" movie

6:50 AM, May 7, 2012   |    comments
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St. Louis (KSDK) -- The "Bully" documentary follows the life of a student named Alex Hopkins.  The bullying became so bad for him, the producers felt they needed to step in.

NewsChannel 5 pulled together a panel of students, parents and administrators to get their reaction to the powerful movie.

"What did each one of you think about Alex?" asked NewsChannel 5's Jennifer Blome.

"Just wanted to give him a hug," said Sydney Sager, a student.

"I don't think he should be made fun of. He's just normal like anyone of us," asid Kailynn Langford, a student.

"I thought Alex was a pretty cool kid, with all he went through, he just stood strong," said Sydney.

"What kinds of words have kids said to you to hurt your feelings and what did you do?" asked NewsChannel 5's Jennifer Blome.

"How someone dresses, how they wear their hair, like their makeup and stuff," said Morgan Olenski, a student.

"Awe your parents don't have enough money," said Darryl, a student.

"They make fun of where we live, how I dress.," said Kailynn.

"She wasn't being nice to me because I had a Justin Bieber backpack," said Madison Broadnax, a student.

"I notice at my school they get made fun of from what social group they get put in. There's the geeks, there's the nerds, the jocks. There's the poor kids. There's the rich kids. There's the sociable kids. There's the loners. There's the emo's. There's the Goths," said Lucas.

"I wonder what it would take to change?" asked Jennifer Blome. "What do you all think?"

"A lot of times they don't even know they're being bullies. We have to help them identify the behavior and how it makes other people feel at times," said Jermaine Andre, a mentor.

"I think it takes everybody stepping up and doing something. Regardless of who you are seeing someone make that effort - that effort to make that victim of a bullying situation. I think it's admirable and if other people see it they'll start changing the way they act toward other people too," said Morgan.

"Make friends with everyone. I tend to want to be a popular kid. Just make friends with everyone," said Darryl.

"I try myself to stick up for people in the hallway being bullied. I do try. I have in the past not done anything. Now I've tried to stand up to people. I've tried to get out there and help people. I want this to stop," said Sydney.

"What do yo think the message is walking out fo the theater for the kids?" asked NewsChannel 5's Pat McGonigle.

"Whether its school administrators, parents, other students by understanding the situations and that bullies reach out for social acceptance to prey on others, and if the people around them step up and stop that action, we can put an end to this," said David Wedlock, an associate principal in the Francis Howell School District.

"The only way we're going to change this bullying situation is by changing the situation and doing something and fighting back. If we all, one person fight back we can make a difference." said Morgan.

"Life and death is in the power of our tongues and unless we build our children up and send them out into the world if they get it from the world they are going to come back torn down and broken," said Leslie Broadnax, a mother.


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