Tyler Long's parents take anti-bully message to "Ellen"
CHATSWORTH, GA (WRCB)- It's been more than two years since Tyler Long ended his own life. The Murray County High School student had endured years of bullying, according to his parents.
David and Tina Long now dedicate themselves to the fight against bullying, and will soon appear in a documentary film called "Bully" in theaters nationwide.
Many of the scenes in the movie were part of a Channel 3 Town Meeting held in Chatsworth six weeks after Tyler's death.
The Longs' lives changed forever on October 17, 2009. On that Saturday morning, they found their 17-year-old son Tyler who had hanged himself in his room. They say his was a life tormented by bullying. Tyler had a form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome, and endured constant teasing from other students. The Longs felt school administrators ignored their cries for help, and set out on a mission to stop bullying.
The emotional Town Meeting, included elected officials and law enforcement officers with the Longs on the panel, while Murray County students and parents told their stories of bullying in schools. County school officials chose not to attend, and instructed teachers and other employees to stay away as well. The meeting was filmed by documentary producer Lee Hirsch, and his movie "Bully" opens nationwide soon.
The movie advances the Longs' crusade to the national level; giving them a huge boost in their goal of raising awareness of the anti-bully movement.
The Longs will be guests on Thursday's "Ellen" show, which airs at 4 pm on Channel 3. The movie "Bully" has attracted a lot of attention in recent weeks. It's been rated 'R' by the Motion Picture Association of America due to profanity, but producers and supporters have launched a Facebook petition and online campaign to change the rating to PG-13. It opens in New York and Los Angeles on March 30, and in Chattanooga in mid-April.