You could hear a pin drop during the special preview screening of the nationally acclaimed documentary film Bully held March 11 at the Muvico Parisian theaters in CityPlace.
Approximately 400 Palm Beach County middle school students, their parents and teachers, who participated in the Do the Write Thing Challenge this past year, were invited to see the film courtesy of Pepe Fanjul Jr., senior vice president of Florida Crystals Corporation, and Muvico Parisian at CityPlace.
Teens, as well as parents, were moved by the film’s compelling stories of five teenagers who were the victims of bullying and the consequences of it.
“It rips your heart out to see what’s going on and what so many are closing their eyes to,” said Christina Gambale, a seventh-grade student at Palm Springs Middle School and the 2011 Ambassador for the Do the Write Thing Challenge program in Palm Beach County. “The Bully documentary is something every child, parent and educator should see.”
Bullying among teens has received national attention in the news. This year, 13 million American kids were bullied. Three million felt unsafe at school.
“This film has an important message for teens and their parents and reinforces the efforts of the Do the Write Thing Challenge program to reduce violence in homes, schools and neighborhoods by encouraging students to make a personal commitment to do something about the problem,” Fanjul said.
Last year, more than 19,000 Palm Beach County middle-school students wrote about their experience with bullying and teen violence and more importantly what they can do to stop it.
“I feel Bully has the potential to make a true impact,” ninth-grader Jacob Wesson said. “I would have liked to have seen more about cyber-bullying.”
For additional information about the Do the Write Thing Challenge, call Alan Gallardo at (561) 832-0623 or visit its web site at www.dtwt.org.
Above: Wellington Landings Middle School student Juli-Ann Ramirez with her parents Joanne and Jose Ramirez.