Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Teacher reacts to Bully movie depiction of incompetence

On Tolerance.org, Jill E. Thomas comments on a scene in Bully that struck me plangent too: a school administrator forces a child to shake hands with a child who has bullied him and, when the victim is reluctant to shake hands, she tells him he is no better than the bully.

Cynthia Parkhill wears hat with “No Bully” promotional pin
My “No Bully” mug shot
In my review of Bully, I commended filmmakers’ willingness to depict school administrators’ self-incriminating behavior. I believe adults bear strong responsibility for climates that tolerate bullying.

Here is how Thomas, an Oakland educator, reacted to that scene: “While all of us hope that we have never handled a conflict between students so poorly, we also know that in the rush from one task to the next and in the depths of the busy-ness that is the work of public school educators, we have made mistakes that when replayed might resemble this scene.

“I left the theater knowing I never wanted to dole out such a superficial solution to a student suffering from bullying, which meant I could never again suggest high school students already have the tools to resolve conflict on their own.”

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