People keep telling us as youth “It Gets Better." Well it can’t get better if you don’t make it better. I’m doing my part to help, please do yours.
MPAA: Don’t let the bullies win! Give ‘Bully’ a PG-13 instead of an R rating!
I’m speaking out for all those students who suffer every day at school. When I was in 7th grade, a few guys came up behind me while putting my books in my locker. They called me names and asked me why I even bothered to show my face at school because no one liked me. I ignored them because I was scared of what else they might say and who else they might tell if I stood up to them. When I went to shut my locker, they pushed me against the wall. Then they slammed my locker shut on my hand, breaking my fourth finger. I held back tears while I watched them run away laughing. I didn’t know what to do so I stood there, alone and afraid. I just heard that the Motion Picture Association of America has given an “R” rating to “Bully” -- a new film coming out soon that documents the epidemic of bullying in American schools. Because of the R rating, most kids won’t get to see this film. No one under 17 will be allowed to see the movie, and the film won’t be allowed to be screened in American middle schools or high schools. I can’t believe the MPAA is blocking millions of teenagers from seeing a movie that could change -- and, in some cases, save -- their lives. According to the film’s website, over 13 million kids will be bullied this year alone. Think of how many of these kids could benefit from seeing this film, especially if it is shown in schools? If enough people speak out and ask the MPAA to give Bully a PG-13 rating, maybe we can get them to change their minds. Will you sign my petition to the MPAA asking for a PG-13 rating instead of an R? From what I understand, the MPAA ruled by ONE vote that Bully deserves an R-rating because of “language,” robbing many teenagers of the chance to view a film that could change their lives, and help reduce violence in schools. This makes me really mad. It means that a film documenting the abuse that millions of kids experience through bullying won’t be seen by the audience that needs to see it the most: middle school students and high school students. Please sign my petition and demand that the MPAA give “Bully” a PG-13 so this important film can be seen by as many kids and adults as possible. Thanks! Katy Butler, Michigan high school student P.S.: You can learn more about the movie on Facebook and Twitter.
Help Michigan Students Stop the "License to Bully" Bill
It's tough being a student when bullies are allowed to physically and verbally hurt you at school. Unfortunately, because of a dangerous new bill passed by the Michigan State Senate, it's only going to get worse. On November 2, minutes before voting to pass a new bullying bill, the Michigan State Senate added special language that provides a blueprint for bullies. According to this language, as long as the bullying is done because of "a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction,” then it's ok. As students, we deserve better. I was in 7th grade putting my books in my locker when a few guys game up behind me. They called me a faggot and a dyke and asked me why I even bothered to show my face at school because no one liked me. I ignored them because I was scared of what else they might say and who else they might tell if I stood up to them. I went to shut my locker when an 8th grader pushed me against the wall. I didn’t know what to do so I stood there, alone and afraid. One of his friends slammed my locker shut on my hand breaking my fourth finger. I held back tears while I watched them run away laughing. When I got home I lied to my parents about what happened to my finger because I didn’t want them to tell the school. I was afraid the school would do nothing accept call me out in front of everyone. My name is Katy Butler, I am now a junior at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor Michigan and I am lesbian. For me, 7th grade was four years ago and writing about that event, even thinking about it, I still tear up. Stopping the "License to Bully" bill and passing real anti-bullying legislation is so important to me because I don’t want anyone else to have to have such strong, painful memories. Being bullied because of something I couldn’t change hurt, but it hurt even more that my school did not do anything about something that they could change. My story is not unique. Students all across Michigan have stories just like mine. Students like my friend Carson Borbely, who is currently in eighth grade: "A few weeks ago in class, I brushed a friend's hair away from her face. A loud voice sharply interrupted, 'Don't touch her. Trannies carry diseases.' The teacher didn't do anything. That was the fourth incident in her class that I had been harassed by the same boy. Nothing was done. The only reprimand he got was a sharp calling of his name. The teacher asked him passively to stop. He continued." Carson and I are speaking out for all those students who suffer every day at school. We're speaking out because we deserve a bill that will actually protect us at school, not make it more dangerous, or give bullies a free pass. People keep telling us youth “It Gets Better”. Well it can’t get better if you don’t make it better. I’m doing my part to help, please do yours. Please stand with students across the state and sign our petition demanding that the Michigan State Legislature pass a real anti-bullying bill. One that doesn't have special exceptions, but does list the reasons students are bullied most often, and does add reporting requirements. A bill that actually protects students. Sincerely, Katy Butler, Michigan high school studentCarson Borbely, Michigan junior high school student