Parents Question Whether Anti-Bullying Videos May Provoke Youth Violence


Two students from separate schools committed suicide within days of each other this month — National Bullying Prevention Month — and both apparently had been bullied. The Los Angeles Times reports that parents are asking questions about anti-bullying videos that both schools aired shortly before the incidents. Brad Lewis’ son Jordan, 15, a sophomore at Carterville, Il., High School, killed himself Oct. 17. Jordan left behind a note that concluded, “Bullying has caused me to do this. Those of you know who you are.”

Lewis said the school showed an anti-bullying video the day before Jordan killed himself. “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,” he said, adding that youth “they see something on video, and they relate.” Last week in Sparks, Nv., Jose Reyes, 12, brought a gun to school, shot two classmates and killed a teacher before killing himself. Those who knew Jose said he would cry and say people were calling him names. On Oct. 11, the documentary “Bully” had reportedly been shown to Sparks Middle School students. The film, according to students, depicted two stories in which bullying drove one student to commit suicide by hanging and another to bring a gun on a school bus. “They are trying to be very proactive [about bullying], but I don't know if it's coming across to the kids that way,” said Sparks parent Veronica Rudd. “Because at this age, children can be influenced by many things.”

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