This is a special episode of The Grass Gets Greener podcast. I'm joined by Cassidy McMillan, a recognized speaker on bullying, and Director/Producer/Writer of the upcoming acclaimed Documentary Film on bullying and precedent setting bullycide court case, “Bullies and Friends.” This feature-length documentary film offers solutions to bullying and was awarded the United Nations Association "Impact Film Award." Cassidy joins me to discuss bullying and why she has made this important film.
Click the play button below to check it out!
When I found out about Cassidy and her film "Bullies and Friends," I knew that I wanted to get involved somehow. Obviously bullying is an issue that is near and dear to my heart as it has affected me in so many ways. This film address a consequence of bullying that is even more serious than what one might normally expect from the physical or verbal abuse that one can experience. We're talking about the issue of bullycide - suicide caused from the results of bullying.
As Cassidy tells us about, according to the CDC, “Bullying among school age children is a major public health problem;” and “suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among children ages 10-24.” Cassidy made the film in order to prevent another boy or girl from taking their life due to being bullied.
Today, bullying is becoming a more serious issue as kids don't always have the ability to get a reprieve from bullying as a result of always being "connected" with today's technology. The introduction of cyberbullying now means that a child can be bullied 24/7/365. Think about that for a second. It means they can feel like there's no way out. It's not something that's only happening on school grounds anymore.
When I was bullied, at least I got to have a break from it when I went home every day. I can't imagine how much worse it would have been for me if I had to deal with it outside of school as well. It makes me feel really bad for those who do.
So I wanted to do a special episode of the podcast where I could bring Cassidy on and we could talk about this issue as well as her film, which so far has been requested by schools from over 15 countries. She's working to raise awareness for this groundbreaking film because it needs our help to get released.
This is an independent film, and while it's achieved the accomplishment of being selected for TV broadcast and worldwide release by a distribution company, the distributor doesn't provide for the required distribution costs, and so the film must fundraise to pay for these costs in order for the film to be released across the globe to help kids, schools and communities.
This is such an important film with an important message and we would be doing the world a disservice if we didn't make sure that this film got released. So I decided to do this podcast episode to bring attention to this important film and cause.
Mentioned in the episode:
- Bullying data from the Centers for Disease Control
- How bullying impacts every student, every day
- Cassidy's inspiration for making the documentary film “Bullies and Friends”
- How the film offers solutions for bullying and how people can get involved with the film
- What kids can do right now to stop bullying
- Solutions for teachers, parents, and government leaders
- How parents can help their children if they suspect bullying
- Warning signs parents can look for
- The legal system's perspective on bullying
- Childhood bullying versus adult criminal behavior
- What bullying really is
- How school can feel like a prison to someone being bullied
- Advice for anyone currently being bullied
- Why it's difficult for a child to process bullying
- Why we shouldn't label children as "bullies"
- Two questions parents should ask their children every day
- Talking to children about bullying
- Why bullying is a societal problem
I hope this episode makes it clear just how problematic of an issue this is in our society today and why this film is so important. Speaking from personal experience, I know how alone and hopeless being bullied can make someone feel. And it breaks my heart to know that there are children out there who feel like their only way out is to end their life.
Something needs to be done. More attention needs to be brought to this issue. It needs to be taken more seriously. Children don't have the means of protecting themselves the way adults do, and as adults, we need to make sure they're protected and don't feel hopeless and alone.
This film is trying to do just that. Even though it hasn't been released, it's already been recognized with the United Nations Association "Impact Film Award" and has made a difference at focus group screenings at schools. This film has the potential to save lives. But it can't do that if it's not released, which is why they're calling on the global community to get involved with this film and its cause.
Below you can watch a video of Cassidy and some of the production team telling us more about the film, the bullying experts involved, and the film team's behind the scenes work on bullying prevention. Also included is the 2-minute movie trailer for “Bullies and Friends.”
If you're interested in helping this film get released and to get involved, please go to the links listed below. You can learn more about the film, spread the message on social media, or make a contribution if you or your company are able. The film is also adding corporate sponsors to the film where people/companies can be even more directly involved with the film and even be in the film's credits! Anything you can do to help would go a long way in making sure this meaningful film with a message of hope and inspiration gets released to schools and audiences worldwide.
BulliesAndFriends.com - the film's official website where you can learn more about the film and support the film's release
GoFundMe - fundraiser on GoFundMe where you can contribute to the film's Crowdfunding campaign for global release (and purchase celebrity gifts, ebooks, film level perks and more to support the film's distribution!)
Facebook - “Like” the film's Facebook page for updates and bullying prevention tips - www.facebook.com/BulliesandFriendsFilm
Twitter - follow the film's Twitter and join the conversation! @BulliesnFriends
Cassidy's Twitter - @CassidyMcM
CassidyMcMillan.com - Cassidy's website
Want to support this show? You're awesome! I would really appreciate it. There are three things you can do that won't take up much of your time but will go a long way.
- Leave a 5-star rating if you think this show deserves it
- Write an honest review for others to see why they should tune in
That's all! You can do each of these things here on iTunes or here on Stitcher.
Please leave a comment and let me know if you have any stories or questions.
A note about comments:
Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated to ensure mutual respect. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.
SuEllen Fried says
Your work is powerful and sorely needed. There are respected researchers who question making a connection between bullying and suicide from a numbers perspective and the psychological suggestion. I have written three books on bullying and worked with over 85,000 students, educators, administrators, counselors and parents over the past twenty years and I share your concern
about the tremendous cruelty and heartache I have heard. I am eager to support your film!
I have one suggestion to offer for your consideration. Language is so important and my bullying vocabulary has evolved over time. I am choosing to use the term bully only as a verb and not as a noun. There are children, basically good children, who have bullied on occasions and made some poor choices who do not deserve to be labeled. I am using the term “bullier” to describe a behavior rather than a label. I respect your purpose, your intent, and your commitment and do not expect you to change your title but because we share such a common passion and I continue to learn so much from my interaction with students and parents, I feel compelled to share my experience. I also choose to use the word “witness” instead of “bystander” because bystander is such a passive word and kids have a different sense of the concept of “witness” because of all the law shows they have watched.
Please let me know about the various levels of donations. Best wishes!!!!
Cassidy McMillan says
Thank you for your commenting on the interview I did with Melissa on my documentary “Bullies and Friends” and bullying prevention. And thank you for your work on bullying as well. To support our film’s release as we must raise the final post/distribution costs in order to get the film on TV, digital global release, you can visit our gofundme.com/BulliesAndFriends fundraising page where all amounts from $1 and up are welcome and needed. The various gift perk levels are listed there and on the documentary’s official website http://www.BulliesAndFriends.com at our “Get Involved” page on the website, where contributions to the film’s release costs can also be made via PayPal. Once the release costs funding is raised, the film can be set for release within 4 to 5 months so we are working around the clock to raise those funds as the film production itself was independently funded with all of us donating our work and time and funding into it.
In my documentary “Bullies and Friends” and my speaking work, I and my team also refrain from labeling any teen or child as a “bully” as it is counterproductive, and is an untrue label. I also prefer not to use the term bullying “victim” as from the many students I’ve spoken with at the schools or bullying prevention events I’ve spoken at across North America no child likes to be called a “victim” and many feel the term victim removes their strength or labels them as weaker in some form. I refer to any teen who is bullied as a “target” as it more accurately reflects the situation as to he or she is “targeted” by the child/teen who is the aggressor. Melissa and I discuss that in the interview as well.
The documentary provides solutions to bullying to teens, schools, parents, and communities which is the key component I wanted the film to have as I made the film in order to hopefully prevent another teen from committing suicide due to bullying. Currently, the CDC has showed the link between bullying and suicide as well as the sobering fact that “suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among children ages 10 – 24”.
In the documentary “Bullies and Friends” I interview a teen who was arrested and made to stand trial for bullying, in the suicide of a classmate in which she was named in the suicide note. Her powerful and poignant interview provides great insight and information to teens on bullying/relational aggression and steps kids can take to prevent bullying and how they can communicate better. Many teens have resonated with her story and I commend her for sharing her story in “Bullies and Friends”.
Again, to be involved with the film our sites are http://www.BulliesandFriends.com and our fundraiser for release costs at http://www.gofundme.com/BulliesAndFriends
director/producer/writer “Bullies and Friends” documentary
Amy Ratekin says
Thank you ladies for all of your work! As a person who teaches C.O.B.R.A. Bully Response Action Program to parents in Iowa. All of your info and advocacy is spot on. Our program is law enforcement based and we teach student, schools, and parents that bullying is harassment and a crime. Thank you for bringing this to light through another avenue. I will do all I can to get this film released. It is very important. I too am on a mission to end the bullying of our children as a bully survivor and now educator. Bless you!
Melissa Wilson says
Hi Amy, thank you for your comment! I was happy to have Cassidy on to discuss this topic. Thank you for wanting to support the film. It really does need to get released because I believe it can make a difference in the lives of those who are being bullied. Sounds like you are doing great work as well, so thank you for all that you are doing.
Cassidy McMillan says
Thank you for your comment and for taking the time to listen to Melissa’s interview with me on my and my team’s 2-hour documentary film “Bullies And Friends” and my speaking work on bullying prevention at events/schools. Thank you for your work on bullying prevention also!
To assist the independent documentary’s release as we must raise the required post-production/distribution costs (which total a low six figures as a 2-hour movie is a bit costly to produce and distribute for TV broadcast Cable, Digital, DVD) and to be more involved with the film, you can support from $1 and up and share our fundraiser at http://www.gofundme.com/BulliesAndFriends
Everyone can also join our campaign at film’s site http://www.BulliesAndFriends.com “Get Involved” page.
“Bullies and Friends” film is also on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/BulliesAndFriendsFILM – Click Like there to get updates and support our release efforts to get the film distributed worldwide!
Thank you again for your message and work.
director/producer/writer “Bullies And Friends” documentary film
Cassidy Mcmillan says
Thank you so much Melissa for inviting me on your wonderful show to discuss “BULLIES AND FRIENDS” Documentary Film, our film’s work in schools and communities to prevent bullying, and film’s release update. I hope the information shared on what bullying truly is, how it affects kids, and how bullying (harassment) can lead to tragic consequences if not prevented, can be of help to families and schools.
And thank YOU for your work to prevent bullying and your work to offer hope and inspiration to others.
Filmmaker / SAG-AFTRA
Melissa Wilson says
Thank you, Cassidy, for coming on to talk about this important topic and film. I appreciate the work you are doing as well and hope that we are able to make a difference. Any life lost as a result of bullying is truly a tragedy.