1 May 2012 | bobbobwhite
Didn't go deep or far enough into the entire problem
Good pictorial of victimized kids in a slice of life film on the results of intense and unrelenting bullying, primarily in school and on school buses. As the film showed very well these kids being bullied, the results of bullying and the bullied kids' commentaries on the frustrations they felt about themselves and others as a result, it is a success. However, on the minus side, it gave no suggestions for solutions or possibilities for control, no statements of judgment regarding incompetence or inadequacy of school officials and parents toward ending the bullying, thus I became less involved as the film progressed, as there was no progress made toward anything other than progressively showcasing the bullied kids and what can result if nothing is done about it.
A few things I saw that were consistent in the bullied boys were that all their fathers were nice, quiet and perhaps weak men who did not take any action themselves toward ending the bullying, but left it up to the mothers. The kids' mothers were shown to be much stronger than their fathers were in their attempts to protect their children. Pro-action by both parents must be undertaken immediately upon being informed of any bullying for best chances of ending the problem.
Only one child, the boy from Iowa, had his back story examined in the least as to possible reasons behind his being bullied. He was born premature at 26 weeks and had unattractive facial features as a result, thus these were the obvious things other kids picked on. Nothing in the other bullied kids' pre-natal pasts were mentioned as possible reasons leading to their being bullied. I perceived this as imbalanced background research, and a failure of the film's intent. Perhaps there was nothing, but perhaps also there may have been drugs in the other parent's pasts, or genetic or mental illnesses, or whatever? Nothing was stated or explained so we were left in the dark to speculate. Kids typically pick on something mentally, physically or behaviorally "different" in those they bully, reasons for any of which should have been shown if known. My grammar school nurse required complete backgrounds of all student's health histories, thus school officials then could not claim ignorance if later bullying resulted. Why has all that changed?
The school officials shown should be immediately terminated for their apathy and unconcern and "what can I do about it?" do-nothing approach to the problem. Also, the school bus scenes showed that adult supervision on board was nonexistent, with rampant rowdy student behavior constant and leading to obvious bullying situations. Wouldn't anyone seeing those scenes, even those moronic and lazy school officials, think something was wrong and needed immediate and serious correction?
Overall, the film was a pretty good slice of life of this serious problem but a pretty bad suggester of possible solutions to it. No in-control schools or good parental examples were shown where bullying was not accepted and was non-existent due to immediate and pro-active parental and school responses to it, as it was in my school. As a result, I give this film a grade of "incomplete", and suggest that it take a make-up test(a sequel covering my above suggestions).