Lee J. Kaplan presents his show ‘Bully’ at CHS

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Lee J. Kaplan presents his show ‘Bully’ at CHS

Spencer Moses

Spencer Moses

Spencer Moses

By Katherine Michael, Staff Writer

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Churchill students eagerly gathered in the auditorium Thurs. April 3 to listen and learn about the terrors of bullying.

Producer, writer and actor Lee J. Kaplan performed Bully, an original production inspired by entries in his sixth-grade journal. Students’ responses were extremely positive and supportive which showed Bully to be a successful performance.

“I learned how much bullying can affect people mentally throughout their entire lives and it has impacted my attitude in that I will really try to step in if I ever see someone being bullied,” senior Alex Votaw said.

Lee described his childhood of being bullied and shared his recollection of the stories of those mercilessly subjected him to bullying attacks. The production is about the struggle of his life: a story about discovering the willpower to finally stand up to the bullies.

“All the bullying that I endured left me with a pretty low opinion of myself,” Lee said. “I’ve definitely learned very powerfully the importance of self-expression and the way that can be very healing in the face of what appears to be very difficult circumstances.”

Many CHS students felt they learned something from listening in on Lee’s production.

“The seminar taught me that it’s important to face bullies but also to show that they don’t bother you,” junior Drew Gerber said.

Understanding how bullying can affect children as well as teenagers in their young adult life is equally important to spreading awareness.

“I learned that there are multiple ways to bully people and that every form hurts,” junior Oliver Pflieger said. “I liked the way he made everything into a story because it made it easier to actually pay attention.”

CHS students were able to walk out of the seminar with knowledge that they didn’t have before.

“After listening to the speaker, I understand now how ignoring a bully doesn’t show that you’re weak, but it shows them you don’t care and that you’re stronger than they think,” sophomore Mariam Carlon said.

In the end, Bully did exactly what it was meant to do: capture the audience and connect with the students in a way that promotes the message of strength and fighting back against bullying. 

“For people who are currently being bullied, my advice is to speak up,” Lee said. “The shame and embarrassment of what was happening discouraged me from talking more about what was happening, and if I had spoken up, I likely would have discovered that there were others who were enduring similar abuse and might have been able to escape the loneliness of that experience.”