|8/29/2013 6:00:00 AM|
Prescott Film Festival to screen anti-bullying documentary
Kirk Smalley embraces a student after a Stand for the Silent presentation at a school assembly. Smalley travels the United States in his fight against bullying.
The Daily Courier
Bullying and its tragedies are the focus of a film, "Bully," that will screen Friday evening as part of the Prescott Film Festival's ongoing series.
The screening will take place at the Elks Opera House beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children. The owners of the opera house are donating use of the theater for this event.
Lee Hirsch, the man who made the documentary, knows of what he speaks.He says in a video on the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) that he was bullied as a kid and knows "what it's like to not have a voice." He recalls that a youth he didn't even know became an everlasting friend because "he got a bunch of bullies to quit beating up on me."
Hirsch's message today is "Take a Stand. Stop Bullying. Speak Up."
In filming his documentary, Hirsch followed five students in Oklahoma and Iowa around for a year and witnessed the bullying they endured and the effects on them and their families.
Suicide is one effect, and Kirk Smalley, one of the subjects in the documentary, will be on hand at Friday evening's screening, to tell the audience about his son, Ty, who took his own life at the age of 11 because of ongoing bullying. The child had been suspended from school for retaliating against a bully who had been menacing him for more than two years.
Smalley and his wife, Laura, now have one primary goal in life. They travel all over the United States speaking to schools and other groups as part of Stand for the Silent, an organization founded by Oklahoma State University students after they heard Ty's story in 2010.
Smalley will also talk at assemblies at selected schools in Yavapai County while he is here.
Of the film, Helen Stephenson, director of the Prescott Film Festival, said, "This is really an eye-opening film, and though this is a very tough topic, it's an important one. I hope we pack the house with educators, administrators, parents, grandparents and students from across Yavapai County. It took almost a year to get on Mr. Smalley's schedule, and we are honored to have him in town."
Posted: Monday, September 02, 2013
Article comment by:
Wow this speaker had a huge impact on my 8th grader and his friends. Thank you for making this available for our kids.
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Article comment by:
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for bringing this much needed look at bullying to the area! I wish every educator and administrator in Yavapai County would see this film and hear Mr. Smalley speak.
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