Articles

"BULLY" VIDEO GAME HAS PARENTS TAKING A CLOSER LOOK


Reported By: Jennifer Rivera
Photographer: Tom Special
October 17, 2006

Alyse November, a mother of two, teaches an anti-bullying class called "Different Like Me" at Banyan Creek Elementary.

In class she tells students, "So what I want you to do is make a face about how you feel when you tease somebody."

November uses puppets and even play-doe to show these first graders why it is wrong to tease their classmates.

"It helps children develop empathy for one another. It helps them understand the impact that they could potentially have on somebody and make a decision about that impact."

But a new video game called "Bully" that hit store shelves Tuesday has November concerned.

"It actually goes against everything that we're teaching," she said.

"Bully" is released by the same creators of the controversial video game "Grand Theft Auto." The game, rated "T" for Teenagers, centers around a mischievous teen at Bullworth Academy who stands up to bullies, gets picked on by teachers, and plays pranks. The most powerful weapons include a slingshot and a baseball bat.

November said, "Are you telling children it's okay if a child plays this video game, they're going to be modeling behavior after what they're viewing in the video game."

November believes "Bully" is sending children the wrong message, and parents need to step up and take action.

"If we make a decision as a parent that you don't want that game in your house, you don't want your child playing that game and its not going to teach the values that you have as a person, then i say make that decision and don't go out to the store and buy it."

The Miami-Dade County School District has already passed a resolution condemning "Bully," and politicians in the United Kingdom are asking that it be banned.

Meanwhile, the Palm Beach County School District is obtaining a copy of the game. The Police Chief, the Department of Safe Schools and other high-ranking officials will view the game and make a determination on any future action.