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Fight against bullying hits the big screen - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Fight against bullying hits the big screen

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The fight against bullying came to the big screen on James Island, Sunday. Families, teachers and students packed showings of the documentary made to help raise awareness against the problem of bullying in schools across the country.

On a rainy day, the Terrace Theatre on James Island was full of people curious to learn more about bullying and how to stop it.

"It's a prevalent problem and we need to tackle it now," said Bridget Laird, CEO of WINGS for kids.

The group started back in 1996 manages local after school programs at four area schools geared to dismantle bullying. Laird says she's seen bullying of all different types, all over and it isn't getting better.

"If they're making a movie about it, then it's a big issue," said Laird.

The movie is called 'Bully' which follows the lives of five kids who face bullying on a daily basis.

The James Island theatre was at capacity for the hour and a half film and those that watched had great reviews.

"I thought it was excellent," said Jack Drennan, a high schooler who lives in Mt. Pleasant.

After watching the movie, Drennan says he felt the need to do something to stop the growing problem.

"Where I go I know the worst possible cases happened in my middle school," said Drennan. "Kids need other kids to help them get through the struggles of schools and groups. And to be shunned away and all the other things like bullying it's not positive and it's way unhealthy for a kids self esteem."

Others like Brian Turner came for personal reasons.

"Despite my massive form I was bullied in high school," said Turner.

The bullying he says he faced then may actually be worse today.

"Now I watch it happen to my to nieces and nephews and it's really, really brutal," said Turner. "I think the situation has gotten worse in the last few decades so I think getting on top of it now is really important."

With the amount of people showing up for the premiere of the documentary, Laird believes the anti-bullying initiative is moving in the right direction.

"We need to get as many people behind us so we can create the momentum to stop this from happening and stop this from growing further," said Laird. "We don't want another movie about bullying."

The WINGS for kids organization says 13 million kids will be bullied in the U.S. this year. Through their after school program, WINGS says they've helped 3,100 kids soar above bullying.

The program focuses on teaching social and emotional skills to elementary students. It currently serves 460 students across four schools in Charleston County—Memminger Elementary, Chicora Elementary, North Charleston Elementary and James Simons Elementary.

To learn more about WINGS for kids, visit www.wingsforkids.org or call 843-296-1667.

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