Butler University’s College of Education and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences present a free public screening of the documentary “Mentor,” about two high school students who were bullied so severely that they died by suicide, January 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts.
The film, written and directed by Butler Visiting Professor Alix Lambert, focuses on the families of Sladjana Vidovic and Eric Mohat, who sued Mentor (Ohio) High School administrators for ignoring the bullying that led to the death of their children.
“ ‘Mentor’ is both heartbreaking and soberly resolute in its inquiry into the institutional forces and ‘culture of conformity’ that fail young members of our communities,” Filmmaker Magazine wrote.
Brandie Oliver, Assistant Professor of School Counseling in Butler’s College of Education, said she wants the community to see the film “because we need to continue to address the topic of bullying.”
“This film provides a platform to engage in critical dialogue surrounding the devastating impacts bullying can have on a community,” she said. “As educators, we need to continuously work to build school cultures that are teaching kids the pro-social behaviors that result in the development of kind, accepting, and productive citizens in our communities.”
Lambert’s previous documentaries include “Mark of Cain,” a documentary about Russian prisoners that was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and aired on Nightline, and “Bayou Blue,” a look at the families of the victims of a Louisiana serial killer. She also has worked on the HBO series Deadwood and John From Cincinnati as a writer and producer.
Lambert said she made “Mentor” as a way to put the issue of bullying in context.
“For me, the word ‘bullying’ is a problem because people just think it’s like, ‘Oh, kids get called names,’” she said. “And then, you’re like, ‘Well, but this girl was eating her lunch in the bathroom stall and being pushed down the stairs and touched inappropriately.’ And then the fact that kids came to her funeral parlor and made a MySpace page about how ugly her dress was. I mean, who does that? This is not teasing on the way home from school. It’s a shocking, shocking thing to do.”