4 Important Documentaries to Watch for National Bullying Prevention Month

October 06, 2018

Addison Dlott, 23, is a storyteller, content creator, and writer specializing in non-fiction media. Her work spans a spectrum of media and non-profit organizations including CNN, PBS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the National Organizations for Youth Safety. She is passionate about exploring the intersection of storytelling and social change. Her work has been recognized by the Director’s Guild of America, and in 2019 she was named as a Fulbright Grant Recipient. She is an Ithaca College graduate with a B.A. in Documentary Studies and Production.

Talking about bullying is the first step in creating and kinder and braver world. This October, CK Reporter Addison Dlott wants you to start conversations with your friends, families, and peers in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month. We have curated a list of documentaries about bullying in hopes of inspiring new behavior, offering support, and promoting change.

Bully (2011)

(Rated PG-13)

Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch examines five cases of bullying in one school year in his critically acclaimed film “Bully.” Using the tagline, “Over 13 million American kids will be bullied this year,” Hirsch focuses on how life-threatening bullying can truly be. Weaving the stories of five bullied kids and their families in America’s heartland, Hirsch shows audiences that bullying goes beyond socio-economic boundaries. Ultimately, this transformative film shows the growing crescendo of voices in the anti-bullying movement in our country’s school system. Not only is this film important to those who are experiencing bullying, but also those doing the bullying.

You can watch “Bully” on Youtube, Amazon, or iTunes.

Submit the Documentary (2013)

(Not rated)

This educational film looks extensively at the reality of cyberbullying. The film brings into question the fact that if we don’t accept this behavior in person, how can we accept this online? Submit the Documentary explores the difference between physical bullying in schools and how virtual bullying has a different impact on youth. Educators all over the country should consider bringing this film to their schools.

You can watch “Submit the Documentary” on Vimeo.

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story (2015)

(Rated PG-13)

Lizzie Velasquez was on Youtube one day when she came across a video titled “The World’s Ugliest Woman.” To her dismay, this video was of her. With it came hundreds of horrific and vicious comments about her appearance. Velasquez has a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight, causing her to be stick thin and permanently disfigured. In response to the video, Velasquez fought back with videos of kindness and acceptance. A TED talk followed suit. This film captures her empowering story of fighting hate with kindness, and bringing her passion to Congress to lobby for anti-bullying legislation. Her story is one meant to inspire and empower us.

You can watch “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story” on iTunes and Amazon.

The Bully Effect (2013)

(Rated TV-PG)

In response to “Bully” (2013), CNN partnered with Cartoon Network to produce “The Bully Effect.” Anderson Cooper explores the long-term damages that bullying can have and focuses on the changes being made around the country after the premiere of “Bully.” This film follows the stories of three of the students from Hirsch’s film and how they are making a difference in their communities and nationwide to end bullying.

You can watch “The Bully Effect” with a Q&A from Anderson Cooper on Youtube.