Local Bullying Victim Starts Anti-Bullying Movement - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Local Bullying Victim Starts Anti-Bullying Movement

SPOKANE, Wash. - The fight to stop bullying is heading to the silver screen. The new documentary "Bully" is set to be released March 30 and profiles five families who've been the victims of bullying.

For the last week, "Bully" has made headlines in a national debate on what the film should be rated. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPPA) gave the film an "R" rating because of foul language. However, the movie-makers have lobbied to change that rating to "PG-13" so that teens - the movie's target audience - could watch the film.

Victims of bullying - who already feel like their voices aren't heard - said they felt moved by the film's message and want others to see it.

Local bullying victim Judah Henley said, "Those kids that are being bullied on the movie are going through the exact same stuff that people being bullied now are going through."

For Henley, the film is a story that played out in his real life in too. He said bullies relentlessly targeted him from pre-school all the way through high school in Spokane Valley. Henley said kids made fun of him for having long hair while he went to Lincoln Heights Elementary School, was called fat while he went to Green Acres Middle school, and changed high schools three times, in part, because of persistent abuse by other kids.

"Kids who were also walking back from school would spit on me, yell at me while I'm walking. I just tried to drown them out with my headphones," Henley continued. "I spent probably half the day, if not more, in the counselor's office. I just couldn't handle what was going on in the classroom."

Henley said he repeatedly reached out to adults for help but eventually felt like his concerns and complaints fell on deaf ears.

"It felt like no one was really listening to anything I was trying to say to them," he said.

"Once I realized nobody was going to do anything about it, once I realized that just everybody was brushing it off as not even a problem at all, that's when I decided: it's time to take care of it myself," Henley said.

By the time he was 16, Henley said the emotional pain of bullying became unbearable. He tried take his own life.

"I actually did overdose one night and I just took a whole bunch of pills, just thinking that nothing was going to change, just thinking that my whole life was going to be people bullying me around."

Five years later, now 21, Henley is turning years of abuse into action.

"I learned, for one, suicide is never the answer. That's not the way to go," he said.

Henley created a Facebook page called "Bullied United". From one bullying victim to another, it was designed as a support group of sorts to vent, share, inspire, and let other victims know that someone cares about them.

"Bullying itself is intentional cruelty and that's not something that people should happen to deal with," he said.

Like the film hitting theaters soon, Henley hopes "Bullied United" will turn strangers and victims into friends and advocates, united against bullying in a movement that is far-reaching.

Ideally, Henley said he would also like to see a required class where every student in school learns about the effects of bullying.

IF YOU'D LIKE TO JOIN JUDAH'S MOVEMENT AGAINST BULLYING, "LIKE" his facebook page "Bullied United": https://www.facebook.com/BulliedUnited

IF YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY "BULLY", CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE: http://thebullyproject.com/

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