Bully: How can we teach kids to be empathetic?

What can be done to stop this horrific plague in our schools? Ebert was critical of the makers of “Bully” for showing us how dire the problem is but not offering solutions. I saw a solution.

 

One of the children in the film talked about being a bully himself in third grade. Then in fourth grade, he started thinking that it might not be so cool, and by fifth grade he had realized the hurt he had caused, felt awful about it, and swore off that behavior.

 

The 15 seconds where the audience is privy to that young boy’s development of empathy for his target was the highlight of the film’s optimism. But aside from teaching kids to sing the old Joe South’s hit “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” how do we teach children to be empathetic? She or he who cracks that mystery will have the answer to how we stop the bullying.

 

by KATHY REILLY

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