|Film shows community members the impact of bullying|
|Written by Kasha Henricks, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Tuesday, 10 April 2012 22:12|
The Normal Theater in Historic Uptown Normal featured the film, “Not In Our Town: Class Actions” on Tuesday, April 10. After the film, the audience was invited to stay and participate in a discussion about bullying and the film.
The night began with event mediator and associate director of the Bone Student Center, Barb Dallinger, expressing two separate times when she was bullied in her past.
The lights then dimmed and the film, “Not In Our Town,” had begun. The film illuminated bullying incidents at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Indiana University at Bloomington, Ind., and occurrences in Lancaster, Calif.
The University of Mississippi was having problems with segregation. In 2009, the students and alumni at Ole Miss debated the use of the chant, “The South will rise again” at the end of their fight song, “From Dixie with Love.”
A student organization, “One Mississippi,” objected the students’ use of this chant. They went to the University Chancellor and petitioned its elimination from the University. This controversy expanded and created a public protest. On one side, members from the KKK came and encouraged the use of the chant, and opposing members of the community gathered wearing shirts that said, “Turn Your Back to Hate.” In the end, the chant was eliminated.
Indiana University was dealing with issues of anti-Semitism. A Jewish Center had a rock thrown through its window, and hate speech started to appear throughout the campus. The community then banned together to light a menorah and discuss how peace is not a subject to fear.
Lancaster, Calif. had issues with bullying leading to two suicides in the community, and 35,000 students united to stand up to bullying and encouraged others to stand up for each other.
After the film, a panel of Bloomington–Normal resident professionals and students discussed the issues of bullying in our community.
Panel member, Matthew Rillie, president of the ISU PRIDE organization explained what he believed to be an issue with bullying.
“When there are problems or issues, one of the barriers [the bullied] reach is having people say that it is not a problem — I think that if one person is upset, it’s a problem,” Rillie said.
Jordan Newton-Gonzalez, NCHS teacher and sponsor of the organization “Students Embracing Diversity,” believes not taking action is the current issue in school.
“It’s intimidating to stand up to a bully because you don’t want to become the target yourself — so training bystanders is key for putting a stop to bullying,” Newton-Gonzalez said.
Cheri Simonds, the basic course director for communication as critical inquiry and professor in the School of Communication, explained what she teaches and how one could make a difference in their community.
“We train people how to understand that what we say can affect someone else. We teach everybody to live by the golden rule that if we don’t want to be treated one way ourselves, why would we treat others that way,” Simonds said.
There will be another screening of “Not In Our Town: Class Actions” with a discussion after at the Normal Theater, Wednesday, April 11 from 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.