“BULLIED: A Student, a School and a Case that Made History”– Dealing with Bullying

“Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case that Made History”

Dealing with Bullying

Amos Lassen

What makes “Bullied” special is that it is part of the Teaching Tolerance Program which is presented by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In 38 minutes we learn about Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover who hung himself when he was only eleven years old because he has been bullied at school.

Jamie Nabonzy was called into a courtroom to hear what the jury found dealing with his lawsuit against the Ashland Wisconsin School District and several administrators. Jamie who was defended by the Lambda Legal Defense Fund won the first lawsuit ever that dealt with gay bashing within a school setting. The film looks at the abuse that Jamie received from both middle school and high school students and how the administration reacted, how Jamie attempted suicide, how he ran away twice and the trial. The film is made up of reenactments, interviews and Jamie’s own speech as he addresses the viewer and a high school audience.

The administrators were found guilty but the school was not found liable and the case was settled with a payment of $900,000 and the gay students got the message that they are entitled to an education like everyone else and they cannot be threatened with harassment. Jamie says that he fought back for all those students who couldn’t.