"Hirsch documents numerous stories — including one of a 16-year-old
lesbian who after coming out was ostracized along with her family by her
entire town — but one child emerges as the film's clear protagonist.
Alex, a gentle-natured, bespectacled seventh-grade boy in Sioux City,
Iowa, finds there's no more terrifying place than the school bus. For
him, the ride to and from his middle school each day is hellish — filled
with cruel taunts and pencil jabs, even being "strangled," as he puts
it, by older students. When his worried father asks about his day, Alex
tries to assuage the concerns of his parents by saying the other kids
were "just messing with" him. Hirsch traveled on the bus with Alex, and
while he was legally prohibited from physically interceding, he became
so alarmed by the abuse he witnessed that he took the footage to Alex's
parents, the school, and the local police department.
harrowing scene, in Perkins, Okla., a boy sobs while leaning against
the open coffin of his best friend, 11-year-old Ty Smalley, who
committed suicide after being bullied. Ty's father, who describes
himself as a simple man, learned to use the Internet so that he could
launch a nonprofit antibullying organization, Stand for the Silent."
Watch the trailer below, and learn more about the film HERE.
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