Every genre has its star, the writer(s) who the symbolize that specific type of narrative. In the world of horror, one of those writers is Stephen King.
In 2013, a reboot of one of his most famous books, Carrie, hit theaters. Starring Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde, and Chloë Grace Moretz in the title role, this adaptation (as in the book and the initial film) tells the story of Carrie White. Carrie White is a shy teenager whose is hit by a one two punch that would ground anyone into literal emotional dust. In school, she is being bullied at school by the popular girls. When she gets home, her mother forces her into a sheltered and religious lifestyle that is equally as bad. After discovering that she has telekinetic powers, Carrie unleashes revenge on everyone who has put her down.
The problem is not with the movie itself. As remakes go, its decent. Carrie White is one of those characters that we can all relate to. The issue is that it was not needed. The original 1970’s film is just so dam good that it still holds up nearly fifty years later.
Bullying in school is unfortunately, for many students, part and parcel of the education experience for many students.
Jamel Myles should be joining his peers for a new school year. Instead, he lies in his grave. He killed himself last week after experiencing an entire school year in which he and his older sister were constantly bullied. According to his mother, Leia Pierce, the administration did nothing to stop the bullying, especially after her son came out to her over the summer.
The boy’s grandmother, Jacque Miller, disagree’s with her daughter.
“The statement that it takes a village to raise a child is true,” she said. “And the village is broken.”
I agree with both statements. While the administration played it’s part, I believe that our overall culture had a hand in the unnecessary suicide of a young boy. Many members of the LGBTQ community experience bullying, regardless of whether they are in the close or out of the closet. There is also, from my perspective, a permissive attitude of parents and teachers that bullying in school is normal and part of the educational experience. It shouldn’t be, but it is. We should be teaching our children and ourselves to at least respect others, even if they are different or if we disagree with them.
Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to bring Jamel Myles back to life. But, we can honor his memory and the memory of too many who have taken their lives due to bullying by teaching our children and ourselves to respect others.
Bullying in school has unfortunately been a part of many people’s educational experience for quite a few generations. The question is, can the young person being bullied rise above it or will the bullies win?
In the 2005 television movie, Odd Girl Out, (based on the book of the same name by Rachel Simmons) Vanessa (Alexa PenaVega) is part of the popular crowd. She is best friends with Stacey (Leah Pipes), the queen bee of the school. When Stacey finds out that they both have a crush on the same guy, Vanessa is not only kicked out of the popular crowd, but is also mercilessly bullied by her former friends. Can Vanessa regain her sense of self or will her bullies win?
The thing that strikes me about this television movie is that unlike other television movies about the high school experience, this movie felt real, raw and frankly quite painful. It is a reminder that bullying, especially in the school setting hurts and can potentially have life long negative consequences.