By Katie O’Malley
Last week, Governor O’Malley and I had the privilege to join hundreds of students, parents, educators, administrators, and anti-bullying experts to host an advanced screening of The Weinstein Company’s, “The Bully Project.”
I believe “The Bully Project” can be used as an educational tool to show all of us that bullying is a very serious issue. It is an insightful, yet heartbreaking documentary that sheds light on an issue that is too often overlooked as just “kids being kids.” It follows the lives of children who are tormented nearly every day by their peers and even calls our attention to how parents, teachers and administrators choose to deal with the effects of bullying. The film also takes a deeper look into the lives of parents whose children have tragically committed suicide as a result of bullying.
Following the film, we held a town hall discussion with renowned author and bullying expert Rosalind Wiseman, Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Schools David Esquith, and other great panelists to talk about bullying and what we as one community can do to stand up against it.
Although Maryland is the seventh state to enact an anti-bullying law that protects all students, there are still many instances of bullying throughout our communities and schools, and too many of them go unreported. That’s why, in Maryland, we are committed to improving our reporting systems, and educating everyone about the effects of bullying.
We can all can help put an end to the abuse. It starts with each of us. It is our responsibility to make sure that these incidents don’t happen in our schools and communities.
Governor O’Malley and I will continue our work to speak up to help stop bullying. But we need your help. If you have time, watch “The Bully Project” (Warning: The movie contains very serious subject matter, and may not be suitable for young children. Please be conscious of this when deciding whether or not to bring them).
Thank you in advance for helping to improve the lives of our young people.