For parents, educators, and others who work with children or young adults, bullying is an important topic right now. Parents are worried about their children bullying other children or being bullied, and teachers and administrators are trying to figure out how to keep bullying out of their schools. These movies offer a great way to get a discussion going and teach about bullying. (Click here to tweet this.)
Mean Girls is a comedy, and, while it is entertaining, it is based on disturbing events that are taking place in real schools. Cady is in for a shock when she begins a new school in Evanston, Illinois. Cady teams up with Janis, an outcast at the school, to take down a popular, mean group of girls. Unfortunately, Cady gets too caught up as she executes her plan, and becomes just as mean as the girls she had been trying to get revenge on. After losing her friends, she finally realizes what she is doing, and she begins to act like herself again. This movie can serve as a starting point for a conversation about bullying and other mean behaviors that take place between young girls, and highlights the importance of resisting pressure to become someone you are not.
This movie is about men who were bullied as children, and some of their bullies. They are confronted by adult bullies when they are trying to play baseball, and decide to stick up for themselves by challenging them to a baseball game. They end up winning, and go on to continue playing and winning baseball games. They confront their past along the way as some face their former bullies, and some face people they used to torment. This movie offers a reminder that bullying, even when it takes place in childhood, can have long-lasting implications.
Chicken Little becomes an outcast when he attempts to warn the people of his town about a possible threat, and no one, not even his own father, believes him. Chicken Little surprises everyone when his claims turn out to be true. He plays an important role in protecting his town, and gains the respect of the members of his town and his father. Like many who are bullied, Chicken Little has a different appearance, and exhibits different behavior. This story is a reminder that different does not equal bad, and we should not be so quick to judge others.
The Karate Kid
After moving to a new school, Daniel becomes friends with a cheerleader, and angers her boyfriend, Johnny, and his friends. After being tormented by them, Mr. Miyagi, the handyman in Daniel’s apartment building, comes to his aid and trains him to fight. Daniel and Myagi form a strong bond, and Daniel ends up defeating Johnny and earning the boy’s respect.
About a Boy
This movie centers on Will, a single man who begins looking for love at a single parent’s group, even though he is not actually a parent. He ends up meeting a 12-year old boy named Marcus, and ends up spending time with the boy as Marcus struggles with bullies at school and his mother’s problems. This movie emphasizes the importance of positive adults in the lives of children, particularly those who are begin victimized by bullies.
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