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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

Kids Need to See "Bully" - No "R" Rating Please

By March 1, 2012

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The topic of movie ratings comes up a lot in pediatrics, both to advise parents that kids should only watch age appropriate movies and to warn when movies deserve a stronger rating, especially "PG" and "PG-13" movies with smoking, which should be rated "R."

It isn't too often that a pediatrician would want a movie to get a lower rating, but I think I'm going to have to side with filmmaker Harvey Weinstein, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and the almost 170,000 people who are trying to get the new movie Bully a "PG-13" rating. With its current "R" rating, which is mostly for bad language, it is unlikely that the documentary will be shown in schools, where screenings might be a good part of discussions about bullying.

Bully follows three bullied students in Iowa, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. Like many other students, they are being bullied on a daily basis. The movie also includes two families in Georgia and Oklahoma who lost their kids to bullying-related suicide.

Bully is an award winning documentary that offers "an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families," and will hopefully help us stop bullying as people can better see the direct effects of bullying.

Whatever the rating though, it sounds like Bully is a movie that everyone should see, from potential bullies to teachers and other school officials who work to stop bullying in their schools.

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The MPAA Ratings Board Stands Up to Bully

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