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5 films to work against bullying in the classroom

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Film language can be a very useful tool for raising awareness. In this article we propose several fun, optimistic stories with friendship as their main theme.

Film language can be a very useful tool for raising awareness. In this article we propose several fun, optimistic stories with friendship as their main theme.

Schools are becoming increasingly aware of the issue of bullying. During childhood and adolescence, social life and personality development become central elements and it is very important to fit into a group and to be accepted by others. Moreover, bullying causes immense suffering to boys and girls of this age and can lead to situations that can endanger their physical and psychological integrity. The safeguarding policies of our British schools, unlike Spanish schools, are designed for the welfare of the children and the main objective is to create a culture of vigilance.

We therefore believe that films, under the guidance of a teacher and in the context of an adult, are a very appropriate tool to work with in the classroom. As an art form, its language is ideal for raising awareness and creating emotional events in students. Since there is no better way to learn than to experiment, we propose these five films to raise awareness in the classroom about bullying. And of course, through fun, optimistic stories and with friendship as a key element.


Red (2022)

This charming animated film is about the life of a young girl who tries to fight against her true self, in a journey of self-acceptance with elements of adventure, which makes it very appropriate for children. The protagonist is a girl who, having reached puberty, discovers that inside her lives a huge bear that she transforms into when she gets angry, a curse that runs in her family. Through this metaphor, Red communicates the problems of adolescents and reflects on some aspects that will touch the heartstrings of any young person: family, friendship, tradition, social acceptance...


A monster calls (2016)

Family problems are one of the most common sources that can trigger bullying. The protagonist of this wonderful film is a boy, Connor, who lives with his seriously ill mother. As he struggles to accept that his mother will soon leave him and that from then on he will have to live with his gruff grandmother, Connor is teased at school, especially by a classmate named Harry. One night, the big yew tree next to his house transforms into a monster, which will help him to overcome all his fears. This film is characterised with great beauty and sensibleness that will not leave teenage audiences indifferent.


Cyberbully (2011)

This is an example of how bullying has taken on a new dimension with the use of social networks. Despite being more than a decade old, this film maintains the essence of the problems involved in the misuse of technology. The consolidation of new ways in which bullying can occur is a challenge for parents and educators. Cyberbully is the story of a young girl who starts using social networks and begins an escalation of hate, rumours and insults, especially of a sexual nature. The film graphically shows some of the risks of using social networks and sharing sensitive information. It also gives some useful messages to learn how to use the internet correctly and how to act in the face of attacks: block, ask an adult for help...


The Perks of Being a wallflower (2011)

The film tells the story of Charlie, a very shy, quiet boy with childhood traumas who finds it hard to make friends. In the course of his first year of high school, Charlie meets a boy and a girl and the three become inseparable. Charlie is a young man with the tastes and behaviour of any teenager, but with problems socialising, which makes him feel lonely and empty. Until he learns the virtue of friendship. On the other hand, the film reflects on appearances: even the most popular boy or girl can have problems, even if they don't display them. This film contains a powerful message of empathy, acceptance and understanding. Moreover, the way in which the characters are written will make it easy for teenagers to identify with them.


Mean girls (2004)

Although it may seem superficial, this film reflects on aspects that are very present in the lives of teenagers: status and the opinion of others. The protagonist faces high school for the first time when she turns 16, after having spent many years learning at home. There she discovers what teenage social life is like and meets the school's most popular group of girls, who turn out to be cruel and abusive to most of the student body. But her relationships with them lead her into a desperate situation. The film brilliantly shows the dynamics between young boys and girls and how manipulative anyone can be at that age. It also shows how bad company can lead us down the wrong path. Mean girls communicates that it is more important to be a good and authentic person than to be popular.

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