We're glad to see the Motion Picture Association of America dropping the "R" rating on the award-winning documentary "Bully," that will open in theaters Friday. About 500,000 people signed an online petition spearheaded by a high school student from Michigan who was a victim of bullying. The documentary originally had an "R" rating because of a pinch of bad language, but let's be honest here, kids today have heard it all before - maybe even worse than what the documentary offers up. To slap an "R" rating on "Bully" because of the "F" word is ridiculous, especially considering a move like "Hunger Games" - a popular flick about kids fighting each other to the death - gets a PG13 designation.
"Bully," which now has an "unrated" label, is being tapped as the first feature documentary film to show that most students, in some way, have been affected by bullying, whether they've been victims, perpetrators or silent witnesses.
This is a real film about a real serious issue and kids of all ages should be able to see it.
The story of the removal of the "R" rating shows that kids do care about this issue, some enough to go the extra mile to really bring light to the epidemic that has become a hot-button issue in every corner of the United States. There's not a school in this country immune from this problem. We know bullying has been going on for years, decades, but with the introduction of social media into our society and to our children, it has unfortunately grown to epic proportions, and thanks to the Internet and cell phones, it's more difficult than ever for schools and parents to keep tabs on these young students.
Maybe this documentary won't solve all of our bullying problems, but it sounds like something all parents and their kids should see. The film opens in select theaters Friday, and by the looks of things it won't be coming to Marshall, but we encourage parents to keep an eye out for its release on DVD and then take the time to watch it with their kids and talk about it afterwards.
And don't bother covering their ears when you watch it.