—Strength in numbers works both ways. The outsider can find enormous strength and salvation with the benefit of a friend. Two geeks may not ward off bullies, but they will always have one another.
—Neither kids (nor parents, nor educators) are being held accountable for outrageous action. All kids must go to school, and when the bus picks them up and they are out of the hands of their parents; the parents should expect that their children are safe, and if other children are miscreant, parents will support the system and bring proper behavior to bear upon them. (There were days when a bus driver knew how to handle her crowd…or Sister Electa would knock a kid into the bleachers for stepping out of line. It worked.)
“Bully” takes viewers through a year in the life of five separate young people and their families. Two of the families were affected by suicide as a direct result of bullying. One other young woman is gay, another snapped and virtually kidnapped her bus at gunpoint after constant bullying from her schoolmates, and another young man is nice, sweet, yet so removed from reality that he can hardly comprehend the abuse he is taking. All five of these young people were victims of deplorable behavior imposed on them by their schoolmates.
As a parent who raised two nice kids whom were sent to public schools on buses until their last year of high school, I watched “Bully” with frustration, anger, and sympathy for the victims.
Cinematically, “Bully” does a fine job of pacing, and tracking their key individuals. The movie focuses on circumstances without victimizing anyone except authority figures who repeatedly turn a blind eye to kids who prey on others. The movie seems to ask, “Is it these kids who don’t know any better … or the adults ‘in charge’ who should?”