STOP bullying in its tracks! Sign this petition started by Michigan High School student Katy Butler to give the movie Bully a PG-13 rating so that kids, especially teenagers can watch it and be aware of the stark realities of bullying.

“Please sign my petition and demand that the MPAA give “Bully” a PG-13 so this important film can be seen by as many kids and adults as possible.” ~ Katy Butler

Celebrity comedienne Ellen DeGeneres’ supports and endorses this petition:

Bully Poster

Bully is a 2001 independent American drama film, based on actual events. The story concerns the plot to murder a mutual friend of several young adults in Southern Florida, in revenge for his continual abuse and psychological torture of others. The screenplay was written by David McKenna (under the pseudonym Zachary Long) and Roger Pullis, who adapted the book Bully: A True Story of High School Revenge by Jim Schutze, concerning the 1993 real-life murder of Bobby Kent.  (Source: wikipedia.org)

While the violent nature of this film may not resonate with many Singaporean audiences, it is undeniable that bullying is prevalent in our primary and secondary schools. Here are some of Singapore’s most shocking bullying cases in schools:

A survey of 4,000 Singapore students in 2006 revealed that 95% of these students have experienced some form of bullying in school. Conducted by the Harvest Centre for Research, Training and Development and the Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth, the survey learnt that while physical violence was the most common form of bullying, verbal abuse such as the use of vulgar language, name-calling and spreading of negative rumours, was also commonly used.

Another survey conducted by The Children’s Society (2006/2007) discovered that one in four Secondary School children and one in five Primary School children are victims of bullying.

“Bullies in both primary and secondary schools were also mainly targeting students of the same ethnicity. Knowing students do not usually get bullied because of their race is in a way reassuring, especially for multi-racial societies like Singapore. However, we did find primary school Indians were subjects of racial taunts more often even though they were not bullied more because of their race, possibly because being one of the smallest ethnic minorities, racial teasing becomes a method of bullying open to the majority.”

In 2010, the Singapore Children’s Society conducted a more recent survey, reporting the stark facts that more boys suffered from physical or some form of verbal bullying than girls. However, we can be comforted by the survey reports that students are reaching out to teachers and parents as the two most common sources of help, and no students had left school prematurely due to bullying as compared to girls; and Malays were more often the subjects of bullying as compared to Chinese.

The extent of bullying range widely from verbal, physical, sexual, homophobic to cyber, and it can also be executed not only by peers, but teachers, school administrative staff and even parents. If left unchecked, the psychological effects of bullies and victims are carried into their adult and professional life.

If your child is a bully or a victim of bullies, here are some resources where you can get help or learn more about how to STOP bullying:

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