The LA Times
has a disturbing storytoday on parents’ fears that anti-bullying videos may have actually spurred two students to kill themselves.
The students — 15-year-old Jordan Lewis in Illinois and 12-year-old Jose Reyes in Nevada — committed suicide after their schools showed anti-bullying videos during National Bullying Prevention Month.
Lewis reportedly killed himself on Oct. 17, a day after his school showed an anti-bullying video. His father says he left behind a note that said, “Bullying has caused me to do this.” The Times couldn’t confirm what that video was, but Lewis’s father Brad told the paper the movie depicted suicide.
“All I know is they were discussing the bullying, and showing kids bullying, and at the end of the show they showed pictures of kids that took their lives,” Brad Lewis told the Times. “When a child or a person is at the end of their rope, and they don’t think there’s anywhere to go, and they don’t think anyone’s doing anything about it, and they see something on video, and they relate.”
Four days after Lewis’ suicide, 12-year-old Jose Reyes killed himself and a teacher at Sparks Middle School. On Oct. 11, all students at Sparks reportedly watched the documentary “Bully.” The movie depicts two students who killed themselves as well as one who was jailed for bringing a gun to school, according to an NPR review.
Veronica Rudd, whose daughters attend Sparks, told the LA Times she was worried that a movie like “Bully” might influence young and impressionable children.
“I don’t understand why that would be shown in the schools,” Rudd told the Times.
The movie “Bully” was originally rated R, which would have meant kids couldn’t see it without a parent or guardian. The Motion Picture Association agreed to lower the rating to PG-13, following public pressure urging the MPA to make it easier for kids to see the movie.
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