WASHINGTON — Shoving in the hallways, flicking ears in class and name-calling all seem a ubiquitous part of a high school experience, but for many the effect is far deeper than surface bruises.
A new, powerful video from a California-based group documents the true effects on bullying in schools, and the fragility of those who suffer from it.
“Losers” was produced by Everynone, a filmmaking team the website says is located in “the redwood forest,” and was submitted to the FutureShorts film festival that started in November.
The short opens with footage of a myriad of high school characters, from the loner to the nerd, the band geek to the non-athlete, the skater to the flamboyant performer. It slowly incorporates more of those wont to bullying others, and builds up to the insults that permeate many school hallways.
Check it out here:
(Editor’s note: This video contains graphic language)
The video has spurred debate online on the role of bullying in schools.
“No one respects someone who can’t stand up for themselves,” writes user klx134sm on the film’s YouTube page. “These kids don’t have to be ‘losers’ if they were taught that they can stand up for themselves, instead that kind of behavior is frowned upon.”
“Don’t assume that all kids are as developed emotionally as you are now,” responds user kaizersozey83 on the film’s YouTube page. “A young persons emotional well being is often tied to the acceptance of their peers.”
“Losers” comes on the heels of a White House initiative to address and end bullying, which it estimates affects 13 million students, or roughly a third of those in school. Pop singer Lady Gaga met with President Barack Obama’s staffers earlier in December to discuss bullying prevention. The pop singer, under the title “Mama Monster,” frequently cites her support for alternative lifestyles at her shows.
“Lady Gaga has described this cause as a personal one — she has said that as a child, she was often picked on for being different,” wrote Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett in a White House blog post. “I am deeply moved by the way she has used her story, and her success, to inspire young people, and shine the spotlight on important issues.”
The administration plans to support the singer’s Born This Way Foundation, named after a popular song and dedicated to exploring changes in culture and policies regarding children in school.
Bullying awareness hasn’t been limited to educational environments. Nuclear Regulatory Commission chief Gregory Jaczko told a Senate committee Dec. 14 he was “mortified” to find out he had been accused to bullying his subordinates.
Commission staffer William Magwood, a Democrat, told House lawmakers Jaczko had bullied and belittled at least three female staff members, one of whom told Magwood she was “humiliated” by what Magwood called a “raging verbal assault.”
To learn more about the Future Shorts film festival, ongoing until January, follow this link.