Summary Response Outline
- The documentary Bully, by Lee Hirsch, illustrates the effects of one of the most prominent problems today: bullying.
- Hirsch provides several real-life situations in which students have experienced severe bullying. At the beginning, a dad remembers his son, Tyler, who committed suicide after he spent his middle and high school years being mistreated, while Alex shares his story of the physical and emotional pain he deals with, in his middle school years. Kelby explains the judging she receives through her lesbian title and her determination to stand up for those being bullied around her. The viewers soon discover that Kelby has tried to commit suicide three times as a result of her bullying. Hirsch then portrays the story of a young girl named Ja’meya who gets bullied on the bus every day. She recalls a time when she brought a gun to school and threatened to kill her classmates, after being called names and witnessing recurrent gossip. Hirsch captures the effects of this harmful atmosphere bullying can create by sharing numerous stories of students who have witnessed bullying.
- Topic Sentence: Bully, by Lee Hirsch, accurately demonstrates the control bullying can have over one’s life, because it can affect one’s self worth and lead them to make decisions they regret.
- Claim 1: Bullying is a threat that causes people to be believe lies about themselves and leads to insecurity.
- Set-up: Self doubt is a prominent issue appearing in teens all over the World. Alex hears students around him constantly putting him down, and as a result he feels like he does not belong where he is.
- Evidence: Alex expresses his diffidence by commenting, ”People think I’m different, not normal.” … “I feel like I belong somewhere else” (Hirsch).
- Explanation of quotation to prove claim: Alex witnesses unacceptance and shares with the viewer how he undergoes the relentless rejection. Words can affect one’s mind and heart as shown by Alex, because he not only believes the lies in his head but he feels the impact the threat of bullying has on him emotionally.
- Counterclaim 1: However, bullying generates unity within schools to fight against it and to stand up for one’s peers.
- Set-up: Kelby demonstrates that being bullied can spark will and determination to stand up to bullies. Bullying creates the need to fight for oneself and his or her classmates. Kelby promotes the idea that standing up for others and being confident in oneself can come from bullying.
- Evidence: Kelby verifies this idea by stating,“If I leave, they win. “... ”And maybe all it takes is for one person to stand up” (Hirsch).
- Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim: Bullies’ threats leads to unity and bravery within schools. Being bold is an important factor that contributes to the stand against bullying. Kelby promotes this understanding when she states her own willpower to fight for change in schools.
- What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument?
- At first glance, bullying creates not only insecurity, but determination and the will to stand up for the victims. When inspired, people have the ability to stand up for what is right. Kelby illustrates this by affirming that one person can make a change. She encourages the viewer to be that change and illustrates that bullying can spark motivation and determination in people. She challenges the viewer to become a witness and stand up to bullies.
- However, we cannot deny that bullying overtakes teens’ lives and overwhelmingly produces insecurity. Alex displays the lack of confidence he has felt from being bullied. He exhibits a sense of unbelonging as he reveals his horrific stories about bullying. Bullies cause severe pain physically and emotionally and creates self-denial when they pick on people. The effects of bullying can be brutal and devastating.
- Concluding sentence: Lee Hirsch’s Bully expresses through real-life experiences, how bullying can affect one’s choices and decisions in life and create regrets.