Teach Your Children Well Explores Bullying

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By Kat Kramer

Harrison Held Star Media

Kat Kramer with Lily Tomlin. photo by HarrisonHeldStarMedia

On Sunday May 15, I was honored to be a celebrity VIP host and sponsor for the special party and fundraising screening for a powerful new documentary short called Teach Your Children Well. It is a film about a current issue that needs to be addressed. That is the topic of bullying, homophobia and school violence. The iconic Lily Tomlin narrates the documentary, and she made an appearance as a special guest at the event, which took place at Lola’s in Long Beach, and included dinner, drinks, a silent auction and gift bags, followed by the screening at the Art Theatre. I realize we look jovial in the photo, but the film itself is very serious. The legendary Lily also hosted my last screening of Elephants and Man: A Litany of Tragedy for “Kat Kramer’s Films That Change the World.” The film is directed and produced by Gary Takesian, is co-produced and written by Steven Roche, and the associate producers are Paul Belsito and John Machado. Executive produced by Robin Voss (For the Bible Tells Me So), It was quite a great turnout at both the pre-party and theatre. In fact, it was the fourth only complete sell-out in the history of The Art. A few celebrities I invited attended, and some of them are experienced in the subject of bullying. One causing quite a stir was Daniel Puder, the MMA champion fighter who’s also an anti-bullying activist. He even donated himself for the silent auction. Puder agreed to train ten people for $100 in self-defense. Young actor Garrett Backstrom, who stars in a film about bullying called Hello Herman, came to lend his support as did actresses Thea Gill, Isabella Rae Thomas, Julianna and Jennessa Rose and Saige Ryan Campbell, who appeared with Ms. Tomlin in the quirky comedy I Heart Huckabees. Actress Kirsten Vangsness of Criminal Minds, soap opera actor Thom Bierdz, young actors Derek Bloom and Zach Callison and singer, songwriter and activist Fawn were also present. The filmmakers question where does bullying and teasing fall into the spectrum of violent behavior, and what role do school systems play in monitoring these attitudes? In this documentary, gay youths are interviewed about their harassment experiences and ways to address the problem. The film features interviews with Wendy Walsh, mother of suicide victim Seth Walsh; storyteller, monologist, singer and former victim of bullying CoCo Peru, aka Clinton Leupp; and many other experts and educators. I am proud to say that I plan to present Teach Your Children Well in its official world premiere for my series “Kat Kramer’s Films That Change The World.”

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