February 28th, 2013
09:32 AM ET

Anderson Cooper on 'The Bully Effect'

Programming note: Watch the new AC360° documentary "The Bully Effect" at 10 p.m. ET tonight on CNN, and on March 3 and 9 at 8 p.m. ET.

In the last few years, awareness about bullying has increased dramatically. While some adults may still think bullying is just a youthful rite of passage, more and more parents, educators and kids understand that bullying today is worse than in previous generations.

It doesn't stop at the school yard or even a child's front door. Access to the Internet and social media websites mean kids can be bullied and tormented around the clock, even in the supposed safety of their own homes. The cruelty that can come with the strike of a button on a keyboard can hurt just as much as any punch or push in a playground.

We've produced a documentary called "The Bully Effect" which follows the stories of a number of people filmmaker Lee Hirsch introduced audiences to in his remarkable 2012 film "Bully." These are kids and parents who have taken their pain, their suffering, their grief and turned it into action. They are truly inspiring.


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Filed under: Bullying • Opinion • The Bully Effect
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Lana cooke

    I am part of a grassroots movement to stopp bullying in the workplace,west Virginia state coordinator for rhe healthy workplace bill. Please consider doing a story on this abuse that makes people illand sometimes leads to suicide. Mthe exposure would help this worthy cause. See the workplace bully institute on line.

    March 4, 2013 at 8:11 am |
  2. R Brown

    Hello Mr. Anderson after watching the video I couldn't stop and feel to share something, pass the message. Twelve years before I used to be in high school and all my good friends bully me. They gave me a nick name gay but I’m not. Every day they tease me repeatedly and I feel crying and totally depressed but I never gave up. I use to say myself 1 year 2 year 3 year after that I will go big college big University and big job. I really had a hard time at school but I always focus on study and career. I have always wanted to be in a CEO position. After high school I joined college and I fell in love with a beautiful girl. I found a new life with full of happiness. At that moment I define life as a up and down time series, first footstep life was sad and depressed after few step life change to cheerfulness and blessed. Recently I graduate from University and process of finding job. I never give up always keep moving in any situation in any obstacles and always focus on my aim to reach a shining star level. Bullying comes and goes and it’s up to us how we take the situation. When I felt really depressed when some others teased me I spend more time in study, write poems, articles, songs or prepare for coming up exam. As a result I get a good grade and teacher also impressed.
    At last I want to kindly request Ms. Sarah Kay (American Poet) to express her spoken word poetry regarding bullying and its affect. I saw her YouTube video performing at the TED conference and I’m impressed with her performance and poems. I have a feeling that she can definitely write an inspirational poem related to the bully effect and her spoken word will be an inspiration and confidence not for a single kid but for many kids around the world.

    March 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  3. Chris

    This was a good documentary but one thing is glaringly missing; WHERE are the parents and the administrators?And why aren't they stopping bullying? I grew up being bullied and the teachers did NOTHING. Parents we met whose kids bullied me were also bullies themselves. Of course, they were also white trash, which explains why they were idiotic bullies, but even so, it doesn't excuse their behavior.

    The next time you do a documentary, focus on the teaches and parents, and on the fact that neither group ever does anything to stop bullying.

    March 2, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  4. Diana

    In our local schools, we have active anti-bullying programs. What we have found is that kids now know what adults are looking for to accuse them of bullying. We now have stealth bullying – bullying that flys under the radar. Kids do not outwardly bully because they know it is not acceptable behavior and they know the adults are watching. They do ostracize kids over a long period – slowly and quietly so that the adults do not even realize what is taking place.

    March 1, 2013 at 12:40 am |