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March 5th, 2013
11:28 AM ET

Sen. Casey says technology makes bullying worse, explains new anti-bullying legislation

Police are investigating what happened in a case of bullying that turned deadly.

Bailey O'Neill, a 12-year-old sixth grader, died on Sunday after he was removed from life support. He started having serious seizures that forced doctors to eventually put him into a medically induced coma after a Jan. 10th bullying incident. Police haven't said if they're going to file charges. His family, though, is completely heartbroken.

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), also the chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, wrote an op-ed on about bullying legislation that he has now proposed.

This morning on "Starting Point," Sen. Casey talks about his proposed legislation and explains why he thinks bullying today is much more damaging and insidious than in years past.

Filed under: Bullying
October 4th, 2012
11:15 AM ET

Local TV anchor Jennifer Livingston has 'no ill will' towards 'bully'

Local WKBT News 8 anchor Jennifer Livingston has been praised for calling out the man who sent her an email insulting her physical appearance and chastising her for being a poor role model for the community. Livingston joins Soledad O’Brien on “Starting Point” with more of her story early Thursday.

“I don’t want to make him an evil representation of the whole world,” she says of the "bully" who sent her the email. “I just hope that at some point that he will learn that he could have approached the topic in much more kind way.” Livingston adds that she won’t particularly "reach out to him to ask him and ask him for help.”

Soledad O’Brien applauds Livingston's bravery. “I love seeing somebody just get mad and taking out someone who’s clearly a bully in the format that you had and the platform that you had,” O'Brien says. “Good for you.”

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Filed under: Beauty • Bullying • Viral video
May 25th, 2012
11:33 AM ET

Teen suspended for creating anti-bullying video that showed fictional suicide

A New York teenager is back in school after being suspended this week for making an anti-bullying video for a school project that she hoped would raise awareness about the issue.

Jessica Barba, 15, produced a black and white video showing a 12 year old girl being bullied. Towards the end of the video, a caption appears saying that the fictional girl died by suicide.

Although there was a disclaimer at both the beginning and the end of the video explaining that the events depicted were not real, a concerned parent thought the video was factual and called the school.

Barba was then suspended for five days because the principal said the video caused a disruption in the school.

After an outpouring of support from around the world, Barba's suspension was lifted.

On Starting Point this morning, Barba and her parents discuss the video and tell Christine Romans that they're happy the video is getting attention because it’s spreading the message it was created to send: “Speak up, speak out.”

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Filed under: Bullying
April 27th, 2012
12:50 PM ET

UFC star Georges St-Pierre bullied as a kid, talks about new Instant Cooling Towel

UFC Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre talks about the bullying he endured as a child.

In the video below, he talks about a new product he's endorsing called the Enduracool Instant Cooling Towel. The towel comes in a tube and is designed to cool down "hotspots" when dampened by water or sweat.

Filed under: Bullying
April 24th, 2012
12:26 PM ET

Joy Furman says endless harassment of her daughter led to request for restraining order for bully

Joy Furman and her attorney Teddy B. Gordon explain why she is seeking a restraining order against her child's bully.

Filed under: Bullying
April 16th, 2012
09:41 AM ET

Micheal Weakley on LGBTQ teens choosing to forfeit their education due to hostile school environments

Micheal Weakley is the Deputy Director of One n Ten, a functional LGBTQ facility in Phoenix. Through surveys he has found over 50% of LGBTQ teens have not graduated high school or chose home-schooling due to bullying.

Filed under: Bullying
April 11th, 2012
02:57 PM ET

AFT's Randi Weingarten talks about the importance of screening the documentary 'Bully', talks about 'See a Bully, Stop a Bully' campaign

It's been called "a potent and provocative look at a problem that's out of control." The documentary "Bully" showcases the disturbing issue in our nation's schools.

"Bully" opens across the country on Friday, but last night there was a a special screening for educators and others who can change the culture in schools.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, helped put on that screening. She explains why it's important for people to see the movie and explains the group's "See a Bully, Stop a Bully" campaign.

Filed under: Bullying
April 6th, 2012
12:47 PM ET

"Bully" gets PG-13 rating – Libby family and director Lee Hirsch on what they hope people will take away from the film

The new film “Bully” has been making headlines for showing audiences just how bad bullying amongst kids can get. The film was made in hopes of encouraging kids to stand up for their peers, but was rated “R” for its inclusion of curse words.

After some negotiations, the MPAA dropped the rating to PG-13 so that more kids could see it. Director Lee Hirsch talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" this morning, explaining that the rating was all about one scene on the bus, where several curse words could be heard loud and clear. Hirsch said they did not want to remove the scene because it demonstrated just how bad the situation was. With a few minor edits to other curses in the movie, the MPAA reversed its decision.

Joining Hirsch on Starting Point was the Libby family: Alex, Philip and Jackie. They are featured in the film, and there are some emotional scenes demonstrating how their son Alex is badly bullied, and his parents fear for his safety. The family told Soledad how they felt when the school barely reacted, and what Alex learned from his experience.

Lee Hirsch said he hopes “Bully” will continue to better the conversation about bullying, and help find a solution for this problem that will affect 13 million kids this year.

For more information, visit

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Filed under: Bullying
March 29th, 2012
03:25 PM ET

Does the word 'bully' describe the torture kids face at school these days? Director of the controversial doc "Bully" explains

Lee Hirsch, director of the documentary "Bully," tells Soledad O'Brien about the battle over the rating for his movie, and says we need a better way to describe the abuse faced by school kids.

Filed under: Bullying