March 12th, 2013
11:00 PM ET

The Bully Effect: Your stories

Programming note: Tune in to CNN tonight at 8 p.m. ET to watch "The Bully Effect."

The new AC360° documentary, "The Bully Effect," follows the lives of families who were featured in the eye-opening film "Bully," and also the filmmaker Lee Hirsch. CNN producers dedicated a year to tracing their journeys of self-discovery, and the transformative experiences they had as a result of the movie.

They have become empowered through telling their stories of struggle and perseverance. In their own unique ways, they're on the front lines of the movement to stop bullying. As you can see in"The Bully Effect," they were victims who are now inspirations and advocates for others suffering in silence.

There has been a remarkable outpouring of support and responses to the documentary. Viewers have taken to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, AC360.com, and iReport to share their own stories, advice, and words of encouragement. It's a testament to the changes happening around the country in large and small communities, led by adults and kids who believe, like Anderson Cooper does, that enough is enough.

Read some of the messages and share your own in a comment, on Twitter with #bullyeffect, or on the AC360° Facebook page.

Filed under: Bullying • The Bully Effect
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Perry Lee Harden

    Go @AC360, #bullying is just plain wrong. It always has been a means of subjugating others. What starts on the playground ends in the war room. Peace begins where strife ends!

    March 12, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
  2. Mari Relue

    About a month ago, I got a call from my 11 year old daughter's 5th grade teacher. My daughter had been bullying a little girl in her class, knocking things out of her hands, and threatening to knock the glasses off of her face. I was shocked, I knew they had investigated the situation thoroughly and what they said of my daughter was true. We have zero tolerance for bullying in our household. I've raised my children to stand up for those being bullied so this was heartbreaking for me. I couldn't stop thinking about the other little girl and how sad and embarressed she must have felt. When my daughter got home we sat down and watched The Bully Project as a family. I'd like to think it opened her eyes to the seriousness of the consequences of bullying. Watching that movie, I cried hard for Alex like he was my own. No child should ever have to go through that. My daughter wrote an apology letter to the little girl and her parents. I also wrote one to the parents as well. My daughter is still grounded from all of her electronic devices until I feel it's time to return them to her. Some people seem to think my punishment has been harsh, but I don't. I want to know without a doubt in my mind, that my child will think twice before bullying another child. I've also made it clear that if she does decide to bully anyone again, next time I'm giving the child she bullies ALL of her electronic devices (ipod, nintendo ds, and nook tablet)!

    March 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  3. justinbryangalloway

    Yea I was bullied in junior high through high school in the late 90s, for either being overweight or gay. Now as an adult in my 30s I have low self esteem, still overweight and now with HIV. I still get harassed and name-called by others in my own community, if its I am too fat or (as one guy put it) "I am damaged goods" because I am poz.

    March 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  4. justinbryangalloway

    I always got if from two angles cause I was a overweight and gay. Then even as an adult, even in my own gay community I get bullied and talked down to because i have HIV and (still according to them) I am too fat to live.

    March 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  5. James Phillip

    a child who bullies is not mentally healthy..........

    March 12, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  6. Jamie

    i decided to go to college and get a degree. It is sad that you can still be bullied in a college atmosphere. I find self to this day being so accustomed to the bully that I still do not know how to stand up and say stop. I feel like in my situtaion that it will never stop. Hopefully after this film people that bully will realize how very much it affects the victims

    March 12, 2013 at 1:17 am |
  7. Jamie

    i would like to say first Thank You for this film. I was victim of bullying althrough school because of my familys econmic status. We were very poor and didnt always have everthing that we needed to be perpared for classes or how other childeren would treat us. I ended up quiting school in the 8th grade and went to work and still founf my self still be being bullied. I decided that maybe it was because I was uneducated so I

    March 12, 2013 at 1:13 am |
  8. Sharon B

    This was a very hard film to watch. I had to limit it to 5-10 min. pieces at a time. My daughter was bullied in 6th grade. Threatened by a girl who sat dehind her and threatened her with a "shank" . I tied to work with her school for 3 months to stop this. At one point, my daughter had to run down the hall and throw a table between her and the assailant, to stop her from "cutting her face." The schools biggest concern was protecting the privacy of the girl who was doing this. I was telling my daughter to just stay as far away from the perpatrator as possible, but later I heard the school was calling my daughter in to meet w/ the perpetrator and to work on being "friends." Like my daughter was somehow responsible for this terrible behavior. It was a horrible experince. Reminds me of the attitude of the school administator in the show. Thank You AC. Very hard to watch, but truthful and theraputic.

    March 10, 2013 at 12:27 am |
  9. Cheryl Milligan

    I am a retired teacher. Believe it or not, I was a victim of bullying by my principals and assistant principals at two very different school systems. You can check with the National Education Association. It is a growing problem-a dirty little secret commonly called politics. Many times it happens when the administration wants to get rid of a teacher. I did my best as a teacher-my students always came first. It breaks my heart to see bullying happening to students. I just wanted to bring up this other "secret" that can cause mental and physical problems. Love to others that have gone through any type of bullying.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
  10. Denise Fournerat

    I would like some direction on how I can get involved. I teach a program PLAY – Passionate Living Action Youth – this program helps kids find what they are most Passioante about, the tools to bring it to them, and how not to believe the stories that others tell them, how to stand empowered and self confident. In my view kids who do the bullying are speaking the only language they were taught, a bully can be turned into a leader for good, once they can find that in side themselves first. Thank you for all that you are committed to. I look forward to hearing from you

    March 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  11. Glenn

    one sorry principal to not go the extra mile to protect children who are entrusted to us by their parents. I am an educator and deal with this issue quite frequently. I I believe bullys should be confronted with their behavior and required to make immediate changes to their behavior. Positive reinforcement works. We are the surrogates when chidlren step on that bus and children safety while in our care is priority number one.

    March 9, 2013 at 8:52 pm |