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Michigan girl starts online petition to change rating for "Bully" movie

February 28, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
A high school student in Michigan is campaigning the Motion Picture Association of America to change the rating of the new movie from "R" to "PG-13." Katy Butler, a junior at Greenhills High School in Michigan, launched the campaign on Her campaign has reportedly drawn 75,000 signatures, according to a press release issued by the web site.

Butler said she endured brutal bullying when she was in middle school and believes that changing the rating of the movie would mean more kids would have a chance to see the film and possibly change bullying behavior.

"Bully," a new film by Lee Hirsch, documents the epidemic of bullying in American schools. According to the film's website, over 13 million kids will be bullied this year alone. The film is scheduled for release in select theaters on March 30. The film's distributor, The Weinstein Company, had reportedly planned to screen the film in middle and high schools across America.

The Motion Picture Association of America reportedly gave the movie an R rating because of rough language.

Butler's recollection of the bullying she endured is pretty devastating: "When I was in seventh grade, a few guys came up behind me while putting my books in my locker. They called me names and asked me why I even bothered to show my face at school because no one liked me. I ignored them because I was scared of what else they might say and who else they might tell if I stood up to them. When I went to shut my locker, they pushed me against the wall. Then they slammed my locker shut on my hand, breaking my fourth finger. I held back tears while I watched them run away laughing. I didn't know what to do so I stood there, alone and afraid."

Unfortunately, that's what a lot of kids go through every day in school. If seeing a movie would help any of those bullies to empathize with their victims and stop their behavior, I'd be in favor of them seeing it, even if it's a movie with rough language.

Live signature totals from Katy Butler's campaign (and comments from signers):



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