As our community continues to recover from the tragic events of last year’s Garlic Festival, the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival has decided to devote a special screening in April to a film that addresses divisive and hurtful actions. The feature-length film “Bullied” gives a voice to an often-silent segment of our society: those who are aggressively — and often repeatedly — intimidated, abused, or dominated by others. This important film will lead into a panel discussion of the problem of bullying and some proven solutions.
With the help of scholars from throughout the U.S. and through interviews with survivors of bullying and families grieving the loss of a child bullied into suicide, “Bullied” director Thomas Keith shows us not only the effects of bullying on the victims and their victimizers, he also explores successful ways of counteracting bullying in schools, where it often begins. Keith has agreed to attend this special screening and participate in the panel discussion afterwards.
“It is a thrill and honor to get the opportunity to discuss the issue of bullying with audience members at the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival in April,” he said. “My hope is that we can be part of a national and international discussion about how to mitigate the rates of bullying and self-harm among young people worldwide.”
Gilroy City Councilman Fred Tovar will moderate the discussion after the film. The panel also includes distinguished scholars and two of the parents interviewed in the film:
“I’m excited to be part of this difficult but important topic,” Tovar said. “I hope you will join us for this life-changing event and by taking a stance against bullying. I am extremely proud to build on our commitment to making Gilroy, Morgan Hill, all of South County and the entire world a kind and safe community for everyone.
“It has become a severe and dangerous issue and affects those young and old, and we need to speak up, stand up and help stop bullying. We may not be able to stop bullying in its entirety, but we can surely prevent it from happening as often. It’s time we hold each other accountable and continue to send the message that it is not acceptable.
“As Theodore Roosevelt once said: ‘Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.’”
We couldn’t agree more. Please join us for this important event.
Thomas Keith, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona: Dr. Keith received his Masters and Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California. He began writing and directing films in 2005 on issues of gender, race, media, popular culture, and social justice. Bullied is his 4th film overall. Dr. Keith has taught courses in philosophy and gender studies for 25 years at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and Claremont Graduate University. He is also the author of the 2017 Routledge text Masculinities in Contemporary American Culture. Dr. Keith has been cited in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Globe and Mall, and continues to speak around the nation on issues of masculinity, gendered violence, popular culture, politics, and mass media.
James R. Doty, MD, Stanford University: Dr. Doty is a clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University of which His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the founding benefactor. He works with scientists from a number of disciplines examining the neural bases for compassion and altruism. Dr. Doty attended U.C. Irvine as an undergraduate, received his medical degree from Tulane University and completed neurosurgery residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. Doty served 9 years on active duty in the U.S Army attaining the rank of major. He completed fellowships in pediatric neurosurgery and electroneurophysiology.
Chunyan Yang, UC Berkeley: Dr. Yang received her Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in School Psychology from the University of Delaware, MSc in Research Methods in Psychology from the University of Bristol in England, and B.S. in Chemistry with teacher credential from the Central China Normal University in China. Dr. Yang was an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at UC Santa Barbara between 2016-2019. Prior to joining the faculty at UC Santa Barbara, she worked as a school psychologist in the district-wide Multicultural Assessment and Consultation Team in northern Colorado. Dr. Yang is currently serving on the editorial boards of the Journal of School Psychology, School Psychology, and School Psychology Review
Sandra Graham, Distinguished Professor of Education, Ph.D., UCLA: Sandra Graham is a Professor in the Human Development and Psychology division in the Department of Education at UCLA and the University of California Presidential Chair in Education and Diversity. Her major research interests include the study of academic motivation and social development in children of color, particularly in school contexts that vary in racial/ethnic diversity. She is Principal Investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Professor Graham has published widely in developmental, social, and educational psychology journals and received many awards.
John Herndon: Cast member of Bullied, lost his daughter Bella to suicide after Bella experienced horrendous bouts of bullying at her school.
Lauren Santoro: Cast member of Bullied, lost her daughter Isabel to suicide after Isabel endured episodes of bullying at her school.