This documentary is about five teenagers and the varieties of bullying or harassment that they went through. The film jumps from each teen and describes their lives in parts.
The film starts off by telling the story of Tyler Long and how he died. Tylers father speaks to us about his sons certain social issues and how he knew early on that Tyler may be a subject of bullying. Mr. Long mentions that kids took his clothes when he showered, forcing him to leave naked. They shoved him into lockers and demoralized him vocally as well. This is what was said to have lead Tyler to his action of suicide in 2009 at the age of 17. The mother found him hanging in his closet with a note on the bed and then proceeded to call the family in.
Alex is thirteen years old, he is being interviewed about his family and how nervous he is to return to school, as he has issues making friends. The cameraman follows him to the bus stop and onto the bus, where the bullying begins and doesnt stop. The boy sitting beside him on the bus is seen violently threatening him.At school, the camera captures instances of bullying that do not directly pertain to Alex, but do show the principal of the school noticing and simply saying the children should get along but doing little to put an end to it.
A boy named Cody is pulled from class to discuss being bullied at lunch, but pulling him out of class was simply a move by the school to give the appearance of attempting to address the issue at hand.
Kelby is a young teenage girl has come out to the town as a lesbian. She states that she is not welcome anywhere in the town, due to the towns religious standpoints and ideas of cultural society. Kelby states that as she was walking in the road a group of boys hit her with a minivan, not slowing down, knowing it was her.
Kelby admits that she used to cut and has tried to commit suicide three times now. The family mentions that when Kelbys sexuality came out even the people they were close with had stopped talking to them as well as her.
During the school year kids would harass and bully her or sometimes they would just outright ignore her. She mentions how even the teachers would bully her and disclude her from events and even categorize her in a separate roll call list.
Her parents have offered to move several times, but Kelby disagrees stating that, If I leave, they win.
After Tylers family found him hanging, they decided to repaint and redesign the layout of his room as a way of coping. They also took down the shelf Tyler hung himself on.
Alexs mom reveals that he was born prematurely, at about 26 weeks and that the doctors said Alex wouldnt live more than 24 hours.
They later on show JaMeya, a 14 year old teenage girl who lives with her mother. She went to school in Yazoo County Mississippi. JaMeya was an honor student who had many awards in basketball as well. The children harassed her mentally and picked on her for quite some time. As this was going on JaMeya was planning on going into the Navy to help out her mother.
JaMeya stated she finally had enough and took her mothers gun onto the bus. She didnt want to hurt anyone, just to scare them enough to leave her alone. She was eventually tackled to the ground by another student, who retrieved the gun from her. The police took her away and she was sentenced to juvenile justice.
Tylers parents used their sons death to focus on the issue of bullying at the schools in their town. They held a town meeting, trying to find a way to fix the problem and a way to show the schools and the officers that it was a serious problem. The administrators often stated that kids will be kids and the teachers shrugged it off, not really taking a stance on the problem even if they knew of bullying in the classroom.
During the town meeting Tylers family arranges another child speaks up about the bullying issue and how the teachers dont pay attention. His name is Devon. Devon had finally taken the chance to stand up for himself and the bullies left him alone and treated him like another kid in the hall.
Later they show that all the charges against JaMeya had been dropped, if she would be held in a psychiatric hospital for 3 months. After that she was allowed to go home, unless a doctor stated otherwise.
While at home, Alexs father asks what had happened that day at school. Another student strangled him, and was verbally abused as well. He believes these kids are his friends. His younger sister is afraid she will be bullied as well when she attends school.
Ty Smalley is a younger child who was bullied relentlessly until he committed suicide at age 11. The school officials claim that bullying wasnt a factor, even though his friend could state otherwise. Trey, his best friend, claims that Ty was extremely sad the last time that he saw him; he said he was crying.
They show pieces of Tys funeral and his parents are tucking in their baby one last time. Trey is overcome with emotion and is crying at Tys casket. Trey assists adults in carrying Tys casket.
Trey speaks to us on how he used to be a bully when he was in second grade, but as he got older he realized the harm and hurt that he did to people. Eventually Trey had stated that he wants to be friendly with everyone. He also says that when he would try to stand up for Ty, he would always tell him that, they arent worth it, or, dont be like them, getting Trey to back down.
We later see Mr and Mrs. Smalley together and Mr. Smalley is expressing their pain and how they miss their son.
We see Kelby rather happy talking about the rain with her current girlfriend. She claims she would not be here, or be able to go to school, without her friends and girlfriend. She refuses to let her bullies win.
Alex is shown being bullied while on the bus. He has been stabbed, punched, and had his life threatened. He claims to not feel anything anymore.
The filmmakers, worried about Alexs well-being, showed the footage to the administrators and his parents, and when his parents confronted the administrators, they claimed that there was nothing they could do to help. Other students are shown lying about what happened, Alex is told to tell someone if he is being bullied again. Alex claims he doesnt because in 6th grade he told adults and nothing was done.
We see a few months later JaMeya arriving at home with her mother. She is excited to be home again and states how different everything looks.
It is Alexs last day of school. Other students are shown being friendly towards him, signing t-shirts and laughing with him. He makes a comment about how girls are like candy, and you never know what you want.
Kelbys parents pulled her out of school because on her first day back, everyone moved their desks to be away from her, showing that nothing had changed at all.
Tylers family is later shown hosting rallies to gain awareness for the other children around the world who committed suicide to due bullying. Eventually the father starts and they started an online group and meet others who had children of a similar fate. They started a memorial service called Stand for the Silent to help reach out to children and adults alike to be together on the bullying problem.
Kelby, while also in attendance, stands for the support of the fallen children as well. Tys parents set off groups of balloons to symbolize the lost lives throughout the country. They also give out wristbands to help gain awareness for their cause.
Tys father stands before the crowd giving a speech, in which he states that he will forever fight against bullies everywhere because, [his] son will be 11 years old forever.