Thursday night, Anderson Cooper 360 will air The Bully Effect, a follow up to the 2011 documentary by Lee Hirsch, Bully. Bully followed the lives of five bullied students from Georgia, Iowa, Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma, including the aftermath of the suicides of two young people, Ty Smalley and Tyler Long. Alex Libby is, perhaps, the most widely known from the movie. The Bully Effect catches up with Libby, who is now an advocate against bullying. His life has changed since Bully came out. The CNN special also follows up with Ty Smalley's family who have also become advocates against bullying. Finally, Kelly Johnson, another Bully alum, is featured in the film. Johnson, who came out as a lesbian in middle school, is an advocate against the bullying of LGBT students.
These stories provide hope that positive work is being done to combat bullying. In addition to the special on CNN, our spirit day kit is a useful resource for those wishing to learn more about how fight bullying in their environment. Anderson Cooper is being honored with the Vito Russo Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD media awards for his work covering issues that affect the LGBT community, including bullying.