[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
53°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 22
1969 - College of the Canyons opens with first class of students in temporary quarters at Hart High School [story]


“Bully,” a gut-wrenching documentary by filmmaker Lee Hirsch chronicling the bullying epidemic in America’s schools, opens in theaters across the country Friday, but not in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Released by the Weinstein Company, the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011 and opened for limited engagements in Los Angeles and New York March 30. “Bully” is set to expand into a total of 55 markets on Friday.

However, managers at both the Edwards Valencia and Edwards Canyon Country theater complexes, owned by the Regal Entertainment Group, confirmed Thursday and today, respectively, that the movie won’t screen at either location.

“The corporate office decides what we get,” said Audrey Watts, Edwards Valencia manager, adding that Regal’s decision is based on how well the company thinks the film will do at the box office. “We usually don’t get the more artsy or documentary films.”

“We’re the designated arts theater in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Katriana Lahero, Edwards Canyon Country manager. As of Tuesday, though, “Bully” was not on the schedule of films opening there Friday.

“Bully” has earned generally positive reviews in its limited engagement. It was released to theaters unrated after the Motion Picture Association of America wanted to assign it an R (restricted) rating due to a half-dozen instances of the f-word being used by school bullies. After much controversy that called into question the relevance of the current movie ratings, a compromise was reached. The filmmakers edited “Bully” to soften the f-bombs, and the film was granted a PG-13 rating.

Thirteen million students will be bullied in the United States this year, and three million kids are absent each month because they feel unsafe at school, according to statistics on the “Bully Project” website.

“I think everyone should see ‘Bully,’ because it shows in graphic detail what it’s like to be bullied, and I think that bullies should see the impact they have on kids,” said Marisa Watkins, who has Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.

A graduating student at Sequoia Charter School and in the Transitional Learning Center program at College of the Canyons, the 18-year-old Stevenson Ranch resident was taunted, mocked and physically bullied in junior and senior high school (Rio Norte, Golden Valley and Canyon), and has been involved in anti-bullying efforts at local schools for several years.

“Some kids get bullied so much, they don’t want to live anymore,” Watkins said. “They just want to stay home from school. They’re afraid. They build up phobias about going to school. That’s where I was, basically, last year.” After a bullying incident at Canyon High, she said, “I didn’t want to go to school for three months.”

With help from a therapeutic behavioral therapist, Watkins was able to recover from the most recent episode and get back into school, but at Sequoia, in Saugus. “There’s no bullying at Sequoia,” she said. “I’ve never been bullied there.”

A Special Olympics athlete and coach with 53 gold medals in a variety of sports, including snowboarding and skiiing, Watkins serves as the organization’s Global Ambassador, speaking at schools and fundraisers designed to raise awareness of its services and resources for special-needs students in and around the Santa Clarita Valley.

She is also a coordinator for Project Unify, a Special Olympics-related inclusion program at West Ranch High School that combats bullying, both physical and verbal. Project Unify is mounting a “Spread the Word, End the Word” campaign to stop people from using the “R-word” (retard). West Ranch students also started a club called the “Special Olympics Society” that helps with volunteering and fundraising.

While the “Bully” documentary focuses on special-needs students terrorized in schools in the American Midwest and South, it’s a national problem, and as Watkins and her peers can tell you, bullying is just as prevalent in the Santa Clarita Valley as anywhere else.

“Most of the time when they’re bullied, some kids react,” Watkins said. “Autistic and Asperger’s kids get bullied the most because they’re either stuck in a conversation or they become different because they stick out if they’re having a meltdown,” Watkins said. “That’s when they get bullied the most, because some people with autism are non-verbal. They make noises, and that’s how they try and communicate.

“And kids say, ‘What’s wrong with this kid? Are they a freak?'” she said. “Or they use the R-word. The R-word is ‘retard,’ but the new R-word is ‘respect.’ Every kid with special needs, and adults, needs to have respect.”

Watkins urges students who are being bullied to tell their school administrators.

“Bully” is now showing at the Arclight Hollywood, Landmark and AMC Century City theaters in Los Angeles. Santa Clarita Valley residents may “demand” that “Bully” be screened here by voting online.

Kim Goldman, SCV Youth Project executive director, understands the film not opening here may be a business decision. “But from an emotional side, from someone who’s in the community, who sees the value of it…I just watched the trailer. It’s powerful. I’m sitting in my car, crying, watching, because it’s so incredibly powerful, and it”s all out of the mouths of babes, it’s from their voice. It’s so touching. And it’s a shame that our community, being as youth-focused and family-focused as we are, would miss the opportunity to pull ourselves together as a community and to take care of each other and talk about something that all of our kids are actually faced with.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT LINKS
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
Auditions for the the upcoming Canyon Theater Guild's production of A Christmas Story are just around the corner.
Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
David Wolfram will demonstrate pastel-over-watercolor painting at the Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA) meeting on Monday evening, Nov. 20 at 6:30 pm. This event is free, open to the public and meets at Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd.
Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
Autumn Gratitude, Santa Clarita Artists Association's new show will be open on Sept 28th and run to November 4th, with a free artists’ reception on Friday October 6th, 5 to 9 pm.
Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017
Tickets are now on sale for James Hand with the Carolyn Sills Combo on Saturday, September 30 and INCENDIO in Concert! on Saturday, October 7, both groups appearing at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall.
Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
Preview of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Sept. 18-24.
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The governing boards of College of the Canyons and the William S. Hart Union School District are scheduled to discuss plans for a new Academy of the Canyons-style campus at the future Castaic High School when they sit down for their annual joint meeting Sept. 27.
COC, Hart Planning ‘North Academy’ at Castaic High School
The League of California Cities, with representatives from cities statewide including Santa Clarita, is calling for Gov. Jerry Brown to veto SB 649, which if enacted would allow the wireless industry to install new 5G equipment with little input from local jurisdictions.
League of California Cities Urges Governor to Veto 5G Wireless Equipment Bill
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, an off-duty LAPD officer and Canyon Country resident, died Thursday evening after a collision in Porter Ranch. Plus, check out all the exciting events happening this weekend. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, September 22, 2017
The new pedestrian bridge crossing McBean Parkway is expected to be open in time for weekend foot traffic.
New Pedestrian Bridge on McBean Parkway Set to Reopen Saturday
The Child and Family Center will begin providing outpatient substance use treatment services for adolescents and young adults with primary substance use disorders under the California Drug MediCal Program starting Tuesday, October 3.
Oct. 3: Child and Family Center Begins Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment
College of the Canyons and the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center will host a caregivers' workshop at the Senior Center in Newhall on Saturday, September 30 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Sept. 30: COC, Senior Center Host Caregiver Workshop
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is strongly opposing the proposed Graham-Cassidy healthcare legislation, saying it would undermine the well-being of the county’s most vulnerable populations and burden taxpayers with heavier costs for years to come.
Supes Say Graham-Cassidy Bill Threatens Health of Millions of LA County Residents
The intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Bouquet Canyon Road will be under construction from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday night, September 29 and Saturday morning, September 30.
Sept. 29-30: Soledad and Bouquet Canyon Repaving
College of the Canyons launched its First-Year Promise program this fall, and to ensure the future of the FYP program, which offers full-time freshman students waived tuition and fees during their first year of study, the COC Foundation has committed to fundraising $500,000 over the next two years.
COC Foundation Launches ‘First-Year Promise’ Fundraising Campaign
Road rehab on major arterial roads and intersections in the city of Santa Clarita continues into October.
Santa Clarita Road Rehab Drives into October
More than 60 Air Force senior leaders convened on Friday to discuss the Air Force’s aircrew crisis, which has left the service more than 1,500 pilots short of its requirements.
Short by 1,500 Pilots, Air Force Leaders Address Aircrew Crisis
The Santa Clarita Valley has five major industry clusters and the SCV Economic Development Corporation targets its economic development efforts to support and expand them.
Five Growing Industry Clusters in the Santa Clarita Valley
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Veterans Affairs Department VA announced Friday that it continues to provide vital health care and other support to displaced Veterans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
VA Aids Veterans in Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands After Hurricanes Irma and Maria
Gatorade made misleading “anti-water statements” while pushing the benefits of its sports drinks in a video game marketed to teenagers, according to a settlement announced Thursday by California’s attorney general.
California Fines Gatorade $300K for ‘Anti-Water’ Ad Campaign
John Gasparyan, an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer and Canyon Country resident, died when his motorcycle crashed in Porter Ranch around 6:50 p.m. Thursday.
LAPD Officer from Canyon Country Dead in Motorcycle Crash
A former Los Angeles County probation officer was sentenced after pleading guilty to inappropriately touching two girls at a youth camp, the county District Attorney’s Office has announced.
Ex-Probation Officer Gets 364 Days for Sexual Assault
1969 - College of the Canyons opens with first class of students in temporary quarters at Hart High School [story]
The most prestigious recognition for government assessment agencies has been awarded to the Office of the Assessor in Los Angeles County.
County Awarded Prestigious Government Assessment Award
The Dodgers, who have clinched a postseason berth for the fifth consecutive year, return home tomorrow to open their final homestand of the regular season against the San Francisco Giants (Sept. 22-24) and San Diego Padres (Sept. 25-27).
Dodgers Back Home Friday; Last Homestand of 2017 Season
Auditions for the the upcoming Canyon Theater Guild's production of A Christmas Story are just around the corner.
Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Christmas Story Auditions at CTG
Now that the formerly great state of California is a sanctuary, I’ve got to compare that action with the actions in the early 1860s of the Confederate States of America. They decided what laws they wanted to follow and what ones they didn’t.
No Home for Me | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
Santa Clarita Valley residents have known the family-owned Italian restaurant, Sisley Kitchen, since 1993 when their doors first opened at the top of Valencia Town Center Drive in Westfield Valencia.
Renovations Complete at Sisley Kitchen
The Women's Soccer team will be finishing up their non-conference matches this weekend.
Sept. 22-24: CSUN Athletics Roundup
David Wolfram will demonstrate pastel-over-watercolor painting at the Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA) meeting on Monday evening, Nov. 20 at 6:30 pm. This event is free, open to the public and meets at Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd.
Nov. 20: Pastel-Over-Watercolor Demonstration at SCAA Meeting
Beginning October 1, all 23 California State University (CSU) campuses will accept applications for admission to the fall 2018 term.
Oct. 1: CSU Accepting Fall 2018 Applications
College of the Canyons launched its First-Year Promise (FYP) program this fall, and to ensure the future of the FYP program, which offers full-time freshman students waived tuition and fees during their first year of study, the COC Foundation has committed to fundraising $500,000 over the next two years
COC First-Year Promise Fundraising Campaign Underway
The city of Santa Clarita is inviting our younger residents to take part in the 30th anniversary celebration.
City Launches ’30 Things for 30 Years’ Contest; Students Invited to Take Part
California State University, Northridge’s Friends of the Oviatt Library welcomes members of the community to nominate their favorite stories about the San Fernando Valley for consideration of the San Fernando Valley Award for Non-Fiction.
CSUN Library Group Invites Community to Nominate Favorite San Fernando Valley Story
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced sellouts for all seven potential postseason home games in the Division Series and League Championship Series just hours after tickets went on sale to the public at 10:00 a.m. It’s believed to be the quickest that the club has sold out of postseason tickets in Dodger Stadium history.
Dodgers NLDS, NLCS Tickets Already Sold Out
Sales of existing single-family homes increased 7.4 percent throughout Santa Clarita during August while the median price of homes that changed owners rose 6.6 percent, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported today.
Increase in SCV August Home Sales, Prices
Mountainview Elementary School parents were greeted with a voicemail Thursday morning informing them of a break-in on campus believed to have occurred the night before.
Vandals Trash Library, Computers, Classrooms at Mountainview
Hans' family did not know too much about his childhood or the country he had grown up in. About all the family knew was that Hans and his wife were born in Germany but had lived in this small Minnesota town for the last 60 years or more.
Lesson from History | Commentary by John Windsor
A gang sweep targeting Newhall 13, a well known Santa Clarita criminal organization, netted three arrests Thursday.
Three Arrests Made in Newhall 13 Gang Sweep
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is proud to announce the launch of our new LASD Facebook Español.
LASD Facebook Español Now Online
Autumn Gratitude, Santa Clarita Artists Association's new show will be open on Sept 28th and run to November 4th, with a free artists’ reception on Friday October 6th, 5 to 9 pm.
SCAA’s Newest Show, “Autumn Gratitude,” Opens