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'I Need to Do More': One Teacher's Reaction to Seeing Bully

Teachers don’t have to wait to see the film before taking action.

After weeks of controversy over its MPAA rating, the documentary Bully is in theaters now. We asked two educators who have already seen the film to write about their reactions and the lessons they'll take back to their own schools. Read a principal's take.

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'I Won't Be a Bystander': One Principal's Reaction to Seeing Bully

Educators say students deserve a safe learning environment, but this kind of school culture requires deliberate effort.

After weeks of controversy over its MPAA rating, the documentary Bully is in theaters now. We asked two educators who have already seen the film to write about their reactions and the lessons they'll take back to their own schools. Read a teacher's take.

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Overrated: Bully's R Rating Should Mean the End of the MPAA

Teenagers will be barred from watching a documentary about what teenagers actually say and do to one another.


The new documentary Bully takes on the issue of harassment in American high schools, depicting real scenes of school bus torture, schoolyard violence, administrative indifference, and the tragic fallout in explicit detail. Now, the Motion Picture Association of America has made sure that most American high school students won't be able to see the film: It's slapped the doc with an R rating.

That's a problem for producer Harvey Weinstein, who had lobbied for a PG-13 label so he could tour the film in middle and high schools. The MPAA admitted that the documentary "can serve as a vehicle" for student discussion around bullying, but insisted that the film nevertheless "contains certain language" that requires it be rated R. The result? Teenagers will be barred from watching a documentary about what teenagers actually say and do to one another.

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