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Bullying is an epidemic that affects kids, parents, and entire communities. With stories about bullying making national headlines almost daily, our reactive approach and perception of the problem needs to change.
Bullying is more than big kid picking on little kid. It’s intimidation, abuse, oppression, and shame. Beyond physical bullying, there is social bullying (often done through cyberbullying) and verbal bullying. Each type of aggressive behavior is painful. Each type leaves lasting scars.
So how do protect our kids from becoming a victim? How do we teach our children to stand up to bullying when they see it? Perhaps most importantly, how do we raise our children to treat each other with respect?
Talking with our kids about bullying is the first step. We know these big conversations can sometimes prove tricky, so we’ve assembled a list of movies currently available to stream on Netflix that address bullying in a variety of forms.
We encourage you to have a watch and many talks with your children not only about the hows and whys of bullying, but about the resources available to put a stop to the abuse. As parents, teachers, friends, and neighbors, we can make a difference.
1. Hope Floats
Synopsis: When prom queen Birdie Calvert is forced to move back to her small town, her young daughter, Bernice, becomes the victim of bullying as the new kid in school. As Birdie struggles to heal from heartache, Bernice must work up the courage to face her schoolyard nemesis.
Lesson Learned: You’re never too small to stand up to bullying.
2. Freddy Frogface
Synopsis: When town bully Freddy Frogface torments 10-year-old Victor, the young lad hatches a plan to make the bullying stop — but will it work?
Lesson Learned: You can outsmart a bully with brains instead of brawn.
3. A Girl Like Her
Synopsis: Relentless torment from high school queen bee and former BFF has 16-year-old Jessica Berns contemplating suicide in this documentary-style film. With the help of a friend, Jessica documents her secret abuse to expose the truth.
Lesson Learned: Bullying impacts the families and communities of both bully and victim.
4. 13 Reasons Why
Synopsis: Through a series of recorded cassette tapes, high school junior Hannah Baker details the events and individuals responsible for her decision to take her own life.
Lesson Learned: Parents, school administration, classmates, and communities have a responsibility to recognize and stop bullying, in addition to providing resources and support for teens struggling with abuse and mental health issues.
Synopsis: Teenager Taylor Hillridge finds herself a target of bullying by fellow students through a popular social website in this topical drama with a message. After the abuse makes Taylor afraid to face her classmates, her mother gets involved.
Lesson Learned: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. And if you don’t have anything nice to see on the internet, shut off the computer.
Synopsis: In this Dutch drama, high schooler David tries to stand up to bullies harassing overweight classmate, Jochem. Unfortunately, David’s efforts aren’t enough.
Lesson Learned: We have a responsibility to stand up to bullying and protect those who are unable to protect themselves.
5. Audrie & Daisy
Synopsis: This documentary follows the true stories of two teenage girls victimized by sexually assault and online bullying. Each sobering tale examines the lasting impact of abuse on the victims, their abusers, families, and communities.
Lesson Learned: Consent, bullying, and social media responsibility are matters of life and death.
8. Chicken Little
Synopsis: Chicken Little becomes the laughingstock of his town when he unnecessarily panics his community.
Lesson Learned: Everybody makes mistakes. We need to treat each other with respect and understanding.
9. The Craft
Synopsis: When new student and troubled teen, Sarah Bailey enrolls in Catholic school, she connects with a group of outsiders who practice witchcraft. Together, the fearsome foursome realize they have the ability to cast spells to get anything they want — including revenge.
Lesson Learned: Revenge comes at a price.
10. Justice League Unlimited
Synopsis: As humanity faces threats from all kinds of new and vile villains, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and dozens of other animated superheroes create a league from which they form small, specialized teams to combat each new menace.
Lesson Learned: There is definitely a hero in all of us.
11. Sky High
Synopsis: As a freshman at Sky High, Will Stronghold has a hard time fitting in due to his lack of developed superpowers. But when bullies attack, Will has to decide whether he’s one of the good guys.
Lesson Learned: Loyalty is the biggest superpower of all.
For more conversations about bullying and bullying prevention, check out the following films: