Hinsdale high school students identify with ‘Bully’ movie
High school students saw the documentary "Bully," about five real life cases of bullying in the Hinsdale Central auditorium. | Kimberly Fornek—Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 15, 2013 10:25AM
HINSDALE — The schools in the documentary, “Bully,” were in rural areas across the country, but adolescents and teens from the western suburbs could identify with their problems.
Students from Hinsdale Central and South high schools who saw the film in Hinsdale Central’s auditorium know how bullying hurts.
“To me, it was exactly the same scenario I experienced in middle school,” said Chris Mack, a junior.
In the film, school administrators are seen advising a student to shake hands and make up with the boy who has been bullying him repeatedly.
Mack said was the attitude when he was at Westview Hills Middle School in Willowbrook, but such mild admonitions do not work.
“No matter how many times you deliver the message, they will never get it,” Mack said.
The documentary tells the stories of five different victims of bullies, two of whom committed suicide, and one who was in a detention center because, after harassment on the school bus, she brought a handgun and waved it at students.
“It was very moving how often they shifted between stories. It was important we see every one of them,” Danny Flynn, a Hinsdale senior, said. “When (the bullying) begins, no one notices, but people start to notice and are able to make a difference.”
Maley Messina, a junior from Hinsdale, told how she felt bullied in the seventh grade. Her friends suddenly stopped texting and talking to her, and when they invited did it was to take turns saying what they thought was wrong with her.
“I took it all in because I wanted to know why they didn’t want to hang around with me anymore, which is kind of weird,” Messina said.
To bring home the point that students in the Hinsdale area are hurting, too, the audience was asked to anonymously write a secret on an index card. The secrets were projected on a screen in the auditorium.
“You see a movie and people could say that doesn’t happen here,” said Tanner Makris, a Hinsdale Central senior. But the comments, such as “I have seen people make fun of others to be funny and get attention,” or “When my height is made fun of, it kills me inside,” tells you, “This could be my best friend or this could be the kid sitting next to me.”