Lee Hirsch’s Bully Summary Response
- Topic sentence:The documentary Bully, directed by Lee Hirsch, confronts the bullying some American students face at school.
- Hirsch shows that all over the United States, children are terrified to come to school because they fear for their safety. This documentary brings to light how children are being bullied by their peers and the adults, who are supposed to protect them, just stand by and watch it happen. Bullying causes mental injury, physical injury, and death.
- Concluding sentence: In conclusion, Hirsch shows how bullying is a nationwide epidemic and children have died due to schools’ ignorance.
- Topic sentence: The documentary Bully, directed by Lee Hirsch correctly illustrates the immense problems that arise when schools and officials refuse to admit that their systems are faulty and change their bullying policies, because this ignorance is costing children their lives and spirits.
- Claim 1:
- Set-up: Many school systems are set up in such a way that bullying is not something that is monitored and instead it is the victim’s responsibility to talk to the officials, who often do not do anything. This shames victims in to vulnerable states into believing it’s their fault they are being hurt.
- Lead in: Alex Libby, a twelve-year-old boy who being bullied, feels that it was his fault the bullying continued because he didn’t alert adults. He recalls,
- Quote: “I didn’t tell them what was going on, which was my mistake” (Hirsch).
- Explanation: Children are very impressionable, and making it their responsibility to set aside their learning to talk to an official who may or may not believe them when they are in their worst states is just setting kids up for failure. Many kids have disabilities that make it near impossible for them to stand up for themselves or talk to faculty.
- Conclusion: While it’s important that kids learn to be a self-advocate, the stakes should never be set as high as mental/physical injury, or even death.
- Counterclaim 1: However, ....
- Set Up: However, while most of the blame for bullying falls on the school system, there is only so much that the teachers can do to protect their students. Students and parents are always very fast to place blame on the school system, when in fact, there is a limit to what the teachers can prevent. Ultimately, kids will be mean, and they will say and do hurtful things.
- Lead In: An assistant principal in the Murray County School District discussed the practicality of assigning responsibility for the kids onto the schools. She stated,
- Quote: “We can’t stop kids from saying bad things and we can’t watch what kids do every minute” (Hirsch).
- Explanation: The school system cannot be blamed for all bullying because, even though parents hope that teachers know what their child is doing while they are at school, there is no possible way for the teachers to monitor every child, every second of the day.
- At first glance, it seems as though the teachers may not be responsible for everything that happens while children are at school, but upon further analysis of of each situation, the ultimate responsibility falls on the teachers.
- It cannot be denied that schools can not keep tabs on everything every student says every second of the day.
- While this view seems reasonable at first glance, a closer look at the responsibilities of schools must be taken. It is the law to go to school. When a parent sends a child to school, they are entrusting the teachers and officials with the safety and well-being of their child. It is unacceptable for these places that shape the rest of a child’s life to knowingly foster hateful speech and painful actions. When a child is beaten up at school or commits suicide because of bullying, the school has broken the trust of the parents and has failed the child.
- Bullying is a serious fault, and cannot be treated with ignorance any longer, as this fault is killing children.
- In conclusion, there is no logical way for a teacher to be aware of every instance of bullying that happens at their school.