The Bully Project

The Bully Project is a documentary film that covers events during the 2009–2010 school year and follows students and their families from Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, Iowa and Oklahoma.

The film also covers the stories of Tyler Long and Ty Smalley, who committed suicide after being bullied.

Hirsch was a victim of bullying as a child and set out to create a documentary so that the hidden lives of bullied kids would be brought into the open.

In a screening in Minneapolis in 2011, Hirsch told the audience that he, himself, had been bullied, which was part of the inspiration for the film, and for the direction he took it. In an interview with a Twin Cities Jewish news website after the screening Hirsch continued:

“I felt that the hardest part of being bullied was communicating,” Hirsch said. “And getting help. I couldn’t enroll people’s support. People would say things like ‘get over it,’ even my own father and mother. They weren’t with me. That was a big part of my wanting to make the film. It’s cathartic on a daily basis.”

Hirsch said he hoped the film grows far beyond him, inspiring advocacy, engagement, and empowerment not just in people who are being bullied and in their families, but by those of us who all too often stand by and do nothing. He stated, “I hope we build something that’s really sustainable. I hope this takes on a life of its own.

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  1. What is wrong with those hill billies?! Who in their right mind threatens to kill someone without any logical reasoning or anything to even provoke someone to actually do that. I really hope that kid gets 3 broom sticks shoved up his ass.

    Those idiots need to be put in a mental asylum. They’re actually admitting to be potential murders therefore a threat to anyone around them. (Meanwhile… you’re wondering why you have children coming to school with guns and killing people…) Sadistic a$$holes. I really do hope they get what is coming to them.
    Once (IF) they can comprehend that they were a main cause to why someone would end their life… good luck living with that!

  2. I was so angry watching this doco! I was bullied at school as well. When it happens it feels like you don’t belong anywhere, and that there is something wrong with you and that’s why people treat you badly. To see that vice-principle make Alex feel like its his fault that he’s picked on made me yell at the computer!! Sooo wrong, this child needs to know that others think what’s happening to him is wrong. I worry that for him, the isolation will become too much. No wonder so many kids are killing themselves and there are so many school shootings. What is happening is torture and it cannot continue to be tolerated.

  3. This doc was very sad. The parents of the dead children have had their heart ripped in two.
    I especially felt bad for Alex. He really needs help and he’s not going to get it on his school bus. Like his mom said, “when we even left our seat on the bus, the driver pulled over and stopped!” The vice principal was no consolation.
    Kirk Smalley really affected me when he said “We are nobodies”. “If a politician’s kid was being picked on in a public school, a law would get passed”.
    I was bullied mercilessly back in school and I have never forgotten all the cruel words, so I wanted to see this.