I watched and cried last evening while watching this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1682181/ It's available in Netflix. It offers five stories of bullying and does well showcasing some issues around it. It doesn't offer answers or more board look to the topic. But it really pinpoints some huge problems we have when dealing with bullying. Two of the kids featured had committed suicide. Another in age of only eleven. One girl had brought a gun to school bus to end the torture. Fortunately no one got hurt. One, the best off of the kids, was openly gay teen from small town. Her whole family was ostracised, but she at least had few great friends, a girlfriend and her parent's support. But also she had made three suicide attempts. And then there was Alex, 12-year-old boy whose story struck a chord a big time for me. His school has allowed documentarists to film at school and that really gave some heartbreaking material and also showed how totally useless that particular school was. Alex has striking similarities to my difficult child. Socially very awkward boy, with distinctive facial features making picking on him so very easy. His total inability to fit in despite all the trying. Trying to explain bullying as a joke or messing around for himself and others. His unwillingness to tell anyone about it. Total shutting down with his parents when it comes to topic of bullying. I could had written that description of my son at that same age. But with film crew following Alex around it is not the cruelty from the kids, that is the most shocking; it is school officials total uselessness that feels the worst. I could feel his parents frustration, and have to say I wouldn't have dealt with that much grace, when they have a meeting at school about bullying and either criminally clueless or maliciously not interested vice principle tells them, that kids are kids, school can do nothing, kids who so brutally bully their son are angles when she sees them. And hey, look at this cute picture of my new born grandchild. Isn't she lovely? Ans same vice principle is also showed dealing with other bullying incident not involving Alex, there she makes bully and victim shake hands, scolds victim, when he wouldn't want to make up like that, guilts victim to believe that now he is a bad guy here because he doesn't accept an apology (which wasn't even made) from the bully. And when the victim tells that it is an ongoing situation, even police has been contacted and the bully has been told to leave this boy alone, but he doesn't, the vice president just tells the boy, that if the earlier bullying incidents have been reported, they have been dealt with and victim shouldn't carry a grudge to the bully and instead just keep forgiving every new bullying incident. And when this school tries to show that they actually try to do something for Alex's daily torture in the school bus, they simply talk with kids showed to bully Alex on tape and threaten them with punishment. No parent involvement from their part is at least shown, neither is there any attempt to actually change dynamic or even provide supervision. And Alex is asked why doesn't he report the incidents and when Alex tells, that when he reported an incident of a certain kid sitting on him a year earlier, nothing was done. School officials deny that. They tell Alex it was dealt with and ask has this kid sat on him again. Alex tells no, but that the kid has bullied and been violent in other ways. But school official tells Alex, that their intervening has been effective, because kid has not sat on Alex again. Brilliant! Bullying is a complicated social issue and while knee-jerk reaction after for example watching this documentary would be punishing the perps (instead of victims) and taking stronger line to kids who bully etc. that isn't too effective method. The documentary didn't go to ways to solve these issues at all really. But there are some fairly effective, science based methods that seem to be more effective than simply blaming a victim (don't be so annoying/different/whatever) or trying to punish the most vocal bully. In those models bullying is seen as group dynamic issue and answer is more in bystanders than in victims or bullies (especially when one very common type of bully/victim is the kid who is both bullied and a bully.) The group dynamic needs to be changed or every bully or victim taken out from the group is just replaced by a new victim or bully, who used to be a bystander before ending up into the more active role in bullying dynamic. We got lucky with our difficult child not ending up to one of those committing suicide because of bullying. Wasn't far though according to him now when he is older. We did knew he was bullied and had trouble fitting in in every peer environment, but especially at school. We did know he got in trouble in school for lashing out and bullying himself. But he didn't talk anything about the school for us after maybe first two years. He just shut down completely when it came to things related bullying. Even rather took blame himself of all broken and lost stuff, even though half of the time he had not lost or broken it himself but it had been stolen or ruined. And just tried and tried to fit in and pretend all the hurtful things were jokes or rough play or messing around. We didn't know the extent on what happened and what we tried to sort out, we too were met with ineffective school officials. I have to say, that right after difficult child left the school, they started to bring in the new model to deal with bullying. And while easy child was not a bully or bullied, what I heard, that program did make at least some difference.