RATS & BULLIES was awarded the distinguished Women In Film Foundation Award in Los Angeles, and was chosen as 1 of 7 Films to represent the United States in the United Nations Global Wake Up Film Festival in Chicago, held last week, from over 140 films reviewed by the UNA Committee from countries across the globe in the international event.
RATS & BULLIES tells the true story of a 14 year old girl who after being bullied and threatened with death by three girls at her high school, hung herself with her dog’s leash. She named the three girls in her suicide note. The incident sparked a groundbreaking investigation and led to the precedent setting court case in North America, where for the first time, teens were brought to trial for bullying.
The Filmmakers McMillan and Buffer had heard of the incident on the OPRAH WINFREY SHOW, and made the film in the hopes of preventing another teen from taking their life due to bullying. The film offers solutions to schools, teens, parents on bullying prevention, and McMillan worked with suicide prevention groups in making the film, as well as consulted with educational experts such as NY Times bestselling author Rosalind Wiseman, based in Washington D.C., who is featured in the Documentary.
Due to the overwhelming amount of requests from middle, high schools, and colleges to show RATS & BULLIES on those campuses, the Filmmakers now dedicate some of their work time to setting up screenings at the schools, where Cassidy McMillan also does speaking engagements on bullying prevention and the legal aspects of bullying cases.
The film has been met with tremendous positive response from teens, and after some film showings, students have told the filmmakers that they were considering suicide due to the bullying they were experiencing, but that after seeing RATS & BULLIES, they saw the devastation their suicide would have, saw suicide was not the answer and that through the film, they know someone cares and they would now seek help instead.
The filmmakers said they know with such emotional feedback such as that, they know their journey in making the film has been more than worth it.
The filmmakers will be starting fundraising efforts to help support the project and its educational outreach, and bullying prevention message and are looking for corporate sponsors to help facilitate the film’s mission in helping to save kids’ lives from bullycide one film showing at a time.
McMillan stated, “The schools we’ve worked with where the administrators are working to stop the epidemic of bullying, I applaud. But some schools still need to realize that bullying occurs every day, at every school, and that it affects every student”.
Cassidy McMillan commented on the study conducted and mentioned in the July edition of the Journal of Pediatrics, “Their study found that kids who endure physical violence or threats from peers say they have more suicidal thoughts and behavior than those who are not threatened. Those threats include bullying that goes on off school property. Schools need to recognize that the bullying that happens off the school’s physical property, such as bullying and threats via text messages, instant messages, emails, Facebook, etc., need to be addressed by schools as well. Bullying has evolved into a larger problem. Schools and the court systems need to catch up with the situation or more lives could be lost.”
To get more information on this groundbreaking film, one can go to the Film’s website at http://www.RatsAndBullies.com The Film also has a Facebook Page where teens can share their stories of bullying. The page is listed under: “Rats & Bullies Feature Documentary Film”. The Film’s Twitter is @RatsAndBullies.