Child Development Institute and Art of Teaching Film Series
The Child Development Institute and Art of Teaching Graduate Program host a film series each fall and spring for the SLC community and beyond. Recent films on education are screened for the community and provide opportunities to discuss the film and themes with SLC faculty and staff, colleagues, peers, and students.
Screening and Discussion of Bully led by Writer and Producer Cynthia Lowen
Approximately one out of every four children in the United States is bullied on school property. Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide. According to studies at Yale University, it's not just the victims who are in danger: the perpetrators who are the bullies also have an increased risk for suicidal behavior.
In the documentary film Bully, Sundance and Emmy award-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch and writer and producer Cynthia Lowen follow the lives of five children in rural and suburban areas of the US during the 2009-10 school year, shedding light onto the often endangered lives of children and revealing a problem that transcends economic, geographic, racial, and ethnic barriers.
On Thursday, November 15th, the Child Development Institute, in partnership with the Art of Teaching, Child Development, and Writing graduate programs, Filmmaking, Screenwriting and Media Arts Program, Early Childhood Center, and Office of Alumni Relations and with support from the Academic Federal Credit Union and the Diversity and Activism Programming Subcommittee, hosted a special screening and discussion around the film Bully facilitated by writer and producer Lowen to over 120 educators, parents, and students at Sarah Lawrence College.
Lowen, SLC Alum MFA '06 and author of Bully: An Action Plan for Teachers, Parents, and Communities to Combat the Bullying Crisis, shared with the audience that her intention was to portray in the film what bullying sounds like, to show how pervasive it is, to acknowledge that that it can be painful to hear and watch, but that it is happening. "The biggest challenge and the biggest surprise" Lowen said, "was each parent we approached agreed to having their child participate in the film. That takes a lot of courage."
Through watching the film and engaging in dialogue with Lowen, participants were encouraged to take steps as parents, educators, administrators, and members of the community, even if they may seem small, to address the bullying crisis and be advocates for children's emotional and physical safety.