Reel Big Bullies

Teaching to the Problem


Talk with students about bullying in their schools/communities and three themes are likely to emerge: a) there’s nothing anyone can do about it, b) bullying is necessary as it builds character, and c) there needs to be more educational programming in the schools designed to curb bullying behavior.

Contrast those sentiments with the helplessness teachers and administrators feel. Many will tell you that current state and federal guidelines tie their hands until after an incident occurs. In other words, a student must get hurt before the school is able to do anything. Reel Big Bullies is designed for regular anti-bullying campaigns and will not cost struggling districts thousands of dollars to implement as it provides teachers with educational resources to complement regular instruction in classrooms.

Using clips from Hollywood blockbusters like Knocked Up, The Emperor’s New Groove, The Benchwarmers and others, Reel Big Bullies is designed to help students, administrators, teachers and counselors create a safer school environment for all students. It is also intended to help all students understand the terrible toll bullying can take on its targets, and to encourage students to stand up for their classmates who are being bullied.

The book’s framework follows the three themes above and discusses the pertinent legal and policy decisions affecting educational intervention. With the already busy (overwhelmed) teacher in mind, we describe nearly 200 film clips teachers can show in class to promote and spark discussions with students in middle and high schools.

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1 Bully: Introduction

2 Read It and Weep: Stats about Bullying

3 Dazed & Confused: Defining Bullying

4 The Little Rascals: Memorable Movie Bullies

5 See No Evil, Hear No Evil: Changing Bystander Attitudes

6 Dangerous Minds: Prevailing Attitudes about Bullying Culture

7 It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World: Mean World Syndrome (Media Effects)

8 Advise & Consent: Legal Policy and Bullying

9 Lean on Me: The Role of the Teacher as Intervener

10 The Big Short: Film Clips for Instructional Use

11 This Is the End: Conclusion
Secondary school teachers, administrators, policy makers, counselors, and parents of middle and high school students.
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