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Thousands of LAUSD students watch 'Bully'

April 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Thousands of LAUSD students packed into the Nokia Theatre on Tuesday for a special screening of the award-winning documentary "Bully."

About 6,500 students spent time away from the classroom to watch the film at L.A. LIVE in downtown. The screening was followed by a discussion with LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and other officials.

"We want students on every campus to feel safe and to feel that they are not threatened, and this gives a lot of insight into the effects of bullying and how students, themselves, can be very strong in protecting others," Deasy said.

School officials are hoping the film will encourage students to speak out when it comes to bullying.

"I was to the point of almost crying actually, so yeah, it is a very intense movie," said 10th grader Jerry Gallegos.

"Bully" follows five kids and their families who have been impacted by bullying. The film became controversial after the Motion Picture Association of America gave it an R rating because of language. The director and several children featured in the film eventually ran a nationwide campaign to get that changed to a PG-13 rating, just in time for its release. The director had to edit out three "bad words."

Meantime, California lawmakers on Monday passed a bill that gives schools the right to suspend or expel students who bully other kids on social networking sites.


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