43 thoughts on “Ronan’s Escape”

  1. DON’T WORRY JOSH. ALL THIS TOOK PLACE IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY THAN I LIVE NOW.

    I’ve felt this lonely before. I thought about suicide before. I couldn’t do it. And then I had this GREAT, FANTASTIC, AWESOME teacher Mr. Crowley (this was in the lower fifth). He saw all that was happening to me. He sat me down and asked me if I was gay. I cried. Oops. Talk about outing yourself.

    Then he talked to my parents I think. I think Mr. Crowley is gay too. Idk. My folks have never talked about him. It’s just the day after that talk I say Mrs. Thompson (a shrink) for the first time. I also enrolled in Karate at the university and began taking classes there. I even have credits.

    In a month I beat up Brad XXXXX. Wow. What a relief. My parents took me out to dinner and celebrated my fight. I had a cake and friends and presents too. I think my parents gave my friends a present to give to me. They were all those POSITIVE thinking kind of things, except Chris’ gift. It was a neckless with two gold boxing glove pendants.

    I stil got text messages reminding me that I was a “Faggot,” a “Poof,” a “Woofter,” a “Queer,” but that was alright. I changed my phone number. No one touches me anymore.

    I think it is a mistake teachers make when they don’t get involved in our lives at school. I think the brave ones save lives. I know Mr. Crowley did. I think some teachers choose not to get involved because of all the suspicion that goes to any adult who shows love and caring for us. I think they are afraid of being called a Paedophile. Mr. Crowley didn’t. He told me I was special. He picked me off the floor and cleaned me up with the nurse. He talked to me like man-to-man and told me to fight back, and if I didn’t know how, he would teach me. He did teach me karate mat his dojo and that is why I never looked for a tree like Ronan.

    1. @ Liam Lasse P.(?)
      ~A little late.. but very sweet story Liam; sorry I’m just seeing this now,(your comment); though I have seen “Ronan’s Escape” before…very sad; even more so that there were those who had to critique the film like PB…who gives a good GD, the message came across, end of story!!

  2. Oh God Joshy!
    Too much sadness around just now… :(

    Here’s an antidote perhaps…
    Strangely, close up pics of the bully show him to be a real weasely looking piece of shit. Talk about stereotypes…

    1. @ upikinonme
      ~*Enjoyed seeing that little POS getting put down, him and his little MF fan club are the reason kids go through hell each day then their daddies whine about it!
      “He hurt my boy, my boy didn’t do anything”
      School shootings and rampages, are always related to bullying at the heart, blame the bullies and the officials that ignored it next time a victim fights back!
      ~Oh yeah, kids a dick, generally so’s the dad & sometimes even the mom!
      *(Of course I saw it before but it was good to see again!)

  3. Wow, a truly touching film. This really helps draw people’s attention to this world-wide epidemic of bullying.

    Thank you for posting.

  4. I’ve seen this before, and watching it again only makes me feel sad and angry. Children can be very evil, and the real tragedy is the adults only consider it normal childish behaviour. Even the bus driver in this depiction did nothing to stop it. Despite all the efforts to stop it, sadly bullying and suicides continue to happen.

    1. You know, I saw the ending coming as soon as I read the spoiler, I watched the whole progression with every heartbreaking event, knew what was coming, and STILL it made me cry, made me angry…..made me a lot of things.
      Children, as Daveboy notes, can be mirrors of what they are taught and for what they are allowed to do. Without guidance and being taught that cutting someone deeply for fun is inhumane, well, they may just end up being inhumane.
      A well-done short film. The bird. The shoelace. Everything.
      Not pretty, but good.

    2. The bus driver didn’t stop it but I think the film was trying to show that he felt sympathy which I found quite touching. Just my two cents.

  5. So many posts about suicide.
    And you don’t even reply when someone asks help ?
    Doesn’t that make you sort of a hypocrite Josh ?
    Just ignored like everyone else does.

    Peace

    1. Are you okay? Do you need someone to talk to? I’m not a shrink but I am willing to listen and offer whatever comfort I can.

    2. Heya Mr. Nobody :)
      You’re not alone here… There are plenty of young guys and older who will try and give you what you’re looking for.

      Have you tried CHAT as a start?
      And there’s the ‘Personal’ section on the BOARD.

      I’m one of the older guys here. You’re very welcome to talk to me for as long as you want.

  6. My question is WHY do kids bully?
    I have a theory it has something to do with repressed emotions and this culture that tends to shame them and find such things “dirty” and “sick”. Anyone else?

    1. My guess would be that is has to do with the fact that the “heros” of our culture tend to be those who project force … think Dirty Harry on TV, military types, politicians, etc. So bullying is force projection you might say, and it gets results … the bully gains an aura and a following (of sorts). Of course the fact that this means that someone else is victimized is totally ignored, and the following of the bully may not be people worth having, but that’s nuance and isn’t understood by those involved until long after the damage has been done.

  7. I fully understand the purpose of this video, but in my opinion, this was a waste of very good money that could have been used to make a much better video on this subject (and they certainly need to be made so as many young people can see them as possible).

    This video is incredibly over-acted and over-dramatized with the director pouring too much of his “talent” into making this some kind of “art film.” The primary element of this is sympathy when it should be empathy for this subject and how it was “directed.”

    From the very beginning, I was just waiting for the ball to be kicked in ‘Ronan’s’ direction — and even that took too long since I knew it was coming. For every “incident” that ‘Ronan’ endured, it was over-acted [directed] for sympathy. And that “wild” bird? Please, it was so contrived … and who in his age range would put a “wild” bird into a closed backpack …. and then “forget it”? That’s just a couple of elements.

    And that’s too bad, because I felt that most of the teen actors would have done much better with a more believable script and empathetic director, particularly ‘Ronan’. And, the photography was very good too. The music was too much and shouldn’t have played over the concern of his mother’s calling out — left us with no reason to care.

    There’s several other short videos about bullying on YouTube that’s considerably better and with better purpose. For me, if you’re going to make a video about this subject, make it as “real” as you can so you can present it to as many young people as you can — and they will accept the message more positively [than this].

  8. Children bully for several reasons. One of them is to get recognized by the group as the cool dude, the person who bullies will be seen as the “bad ass” and the feeling that people laugh because of their action only emphasizes it. As long as they are popular, despite the consequences for the bullied, they’ll continue to bully.

    Another reason is because of insecurity, they have doubts themselves and feel insecure, which makes them bully the bullied.

    Very touching film, it sucks that it still happens today, but it does get better. High school is just a phase.

  9. Sorry, I just could not finish this film. It was way too much like my childhood. right down to the being faster than just about anyone else even 2 or 3 grades higher than me, but having them do things so I either couldn’t run, or couldn’t finish the course.

    @Liam, I don’t know how old you are, or what part of the US you live in, but in the part I live in, if you fight, even just to defend yourself from someone who is beating the crap out of you, you get expelled right along side them. I don’t agree with this policy, and eventually, some parents will finally grow a pair and sue the school districts around here. But until then, a kid who is being bullied can do nothing to protect themselves other than curl in a ball and let themselves be beaten to a pulp. :((

    1. I just glanced at the back to confirm which choice the fella made when he had to make his decision.

      Back home, they are slightly nicer in that they mostly aren’t out to cause harm, merely to help in the literal sense. Still bullied. The situation was different in that in order to stay alive, I could neither win or lose a fight. Excluding one individual; who I would have to mix gutsy words while curling up into a ball. I also didn’t have to throw in any aces, like calling help lines, etc.

      A few years later, I really did have to ask myself that question, instead of “can I still live another day?”. Luckily, things were changing a bit around then, and the answer was “It really is getting better'”.

      Years later, I did some maths-guessing and came to roughly 1500ish odd physical engagements. (very rough estimates, so I opted for rounding conservatively. I also don’t consider the number representative of being bullied, you know how kids are… ^_^)

  10. This was indeed a sad but thought provoking film. This David Lazarus is a very talented 19 year old actor. That was a beautiful story you gave Liam. So glad that you did have such a caring teacher. You are right when you say that maybe teachers don’t get involved because of what people may think. Also you have teachers who are only in this for the money or just don’t care. Bully gains a following because these followers have no back bone themselves. They hide behind the bully. The bully well pick on anyone he feels well not come back on him. He is really insecure with his own feelings. Picking on a kid that doesn’t hit back gives him a feeling of superiority and when those weak followers pat him on the back for his so-called bravery that just builds up his feeeling of superiority. Its a shame that we can’t give people who are suppose to be in charge,Like the gym teacher, the bus driver, support when needed. The gym teacher know what was going on but never took the time to get to the root of the trouble. The school bus driver also know but he just put a deaf ear and blind eye to all that went on in that bus, but by law he is suppose to keep order. There was no order here. I almost forgot something. There was no respect at all on this bus except for Ronan.

    1. @ Michael

      You honestly believe the bus driver gives a shit.

      When I was bullied on a bus, the driver only started shouting when I dared to punch a seat on *his* bus.

      Order means not damaging his bus because he might get sacked. It doesn’t go beyond that. That looked typical for most bus journeys. Teachers are trained to care, bus drivers aren’t.

      1. Teachers are trained to care??? No, they are trained to teach; caring is an individual, human quality that many teachers never acquire.

  11. @ FireSprite: I can’t speak for the public schools for I went to one of those brainwashing Catholic schools. If there was a fight they[ the teachers ] got down to finding out what was the cause of the fight. Of course you can always sue whom ever. That seems to be the American way, through a lawyer, who gets 35 or 40 %. A kid who is being bullied should never be told that the only thing he can do is curl up in a ball and let himself be beaten to a pulp. If I had done that my father would have been very pissed at me for not fighting back,and he would have taken his 6’3″ frame over to the school and made sure things where straighten out to his liken.

  12. Personally i think the more males worry about being “emasculated” by another male and instead fucking each other senseless we’ll have more of the same. Germaine Greer said it best “as long as boys have no healthy outlet for their affection for each other. The result will be chaos and violence”.

    1. Well, current AoC laws prevent highschool kids from having that outlet. And the result is chaos and violence.

      Remove laws on sodomy and adult gay bashings fell in number.

      1. Sex is too dangerous for anyone under 18. That is why there are laws in most countries. Under 18s can’t handle it. It’s like dynamite in their hands. That’s what they say. If they have sex under 18 they will never recover.

        1. The age of consent in most countries is closer to 14 than to 18. And to say that it causes bullying is a bit of a stretch in my opinion.

          1. Lack of a sexual outlet does though.

            Most of the bullies I saw weren’t the ones with girlfriends, they were the ones without girls trying to prove their masculinity by beating up the weak and gays.

            1. Two minor boys sexually active with each other are most likely not going to be legally persecuted anywhere in the US…even in TX or Idaho. They’re just called ‘gay’. Parents overacting with counseling, gay reparative therapy etc are the real worry.

            2. Sadly the US sex offender register does not agree with you. It is weighted towards kids aged 13-15 for “lewd acts with minors”.

              Romeo and juliet laws do not cover sodomy, so it punishes gay boys even more.

  13. I don’t want to sound harsh but this actually annoys me quite a bit, Just because of the fact that it’s based in Australia but thats not what its like here. I mean don’t get me wrong it can be crap sometimes, I live in Australia im 15 and been bullied all my life, But still, People don’t just stand there and laugh here. If your a bully here, Your going to be hated by pretty much everyone. Majority of people are still assholes but they dont.. Purposely try to make others shit i guess? Say.. A school of a 1000, about.. 10 of those people will be deliberately assholes or just a natural one. I feel as someone who hasn’t been through todays.. bad.. generation in our schools doesnt really know what its like. Concidering how gays get so much hate, One of the most popular people in my school are gay, the majority of them are. But then you just have some homophobic schools. Its life really, You cant have everyone like you, so just find the ones you can.

    1. It’s like that everywhere and it’s different from school to school as you say. And like you pointed out, it can even be generational and sometimes just some bad apples in a particular grade. Some queer young adults go through the entire process without even a hitch. But queer suicides are enough to remind us that it’s not a perfect world by a long shot.

  14. @Fred: If your reading my comment #16 I do believe you should try it again. I fail to see where I stated that the bus driver gave a shit. If he did give a shit then he would have brought order to the bus, not a blind eye and a deaf ear. If he did bring order to the bus then Ronan may not be hanging from the tree,but then that kills the conflicting forces in this film.

  15. A bit of confession here. When I was 12-13 I was occasionally a bully to a young indian boy in my class. I knew he was unpopular and that no one would stick up for him so for that reason alone I would pick on him. I’m not proud of it, I wish I had the presence of mind to stop myself but what drove me to do it was…how good it felt. Fortunately for him, one time I was pestering him and I got so worked up I uttered a curse aloud…something absolutely frowned upon at the time. The entire classroom burst into laughter at this which I am glad for now.
    The odd thing was I was not popular either and not part of any clique or “in crowd”. I was very much an outsider, at least IMHO. And that feeling of being left out grew more and more profound as I got older. I was gay at the time but not openly and I had a secret crush on a boy in my school.
    Perhaps bullying was my way of trying to derive pleasure in my life that could not be achieved due to a lack of any other more wholesome outlet. I don’t know.
    Perhaps I am biased because I was a bully but we have to remember we’re all human and the object of this game is not to point accusing fingers and eliminate other people from our lives but rather find a way to bring everyone back together by trying to pinpoint the cause of the bullying, not the bullies themselves as I think all of us know we are each capable of doing bad things and none of us, I believe, understand exactly what made us the people we are today.

  16. I went through quite alot of bullying in school, and sometimes contemplated suicide.
    Seeing things like this make me really sad, and angry that things like this still happen in the world today, yet I still watch them to see if there is ever a happy ending.
    Such a sad film, and a sad truth that this still happens today.
    When will it end..? :(

  17. I stopped watching when he tripped over his laces during the race. I couldn’t go any further as it was too painful. I was always choosen last as well. I first tried to kill myself for being gay and for causing dad to leave us (I blamed myself then) at about 16 by driving my car down a windy hill road faster and faster intending to loose control and go off the edge into the valley below. I lost control and hit a pile of construction metal instead. There have been other failed attempts. Drug overdose at 27 after an underaged friend told his parents what I had done with him, preferred death to prison, flatmate came home early etc. Unfortunately I grew up but my love interests stayed the same age. I don’t know why. I’d love to be normal, then I have to read or hear how I choose to be this way. I wish it was that simple.

  18. Who ever posted the warning, ‘does not end well’, I appreciate the thoughtfulness. Thanks

  19. I think you’ll find that the bus driver, PE teacher and the girl who picked him for the race all knew what he was going through and wanted to do something about it, but its a lot easier to sit back and let it happen.

    The ending was hard to watch, I’ve had a tough year myself but managed to pull through, with no one supporting me at all, I havent had a reason to be happy for a long time and not sure what the future hold or indeed if I have one.


  20. fred:

    @ Michael
    You honestly believe the bus driver gives a shit.
    When I was bullied on a bus, the driver only started shouting when I dared to punch a seat on *his* bus.
    Order means not damaging his bus because he might get sacked. It doesn’t go beyond that. That looked typical for most bus journeys. Teachers are trained to care, bus drivers aren’t.

    I beg to differ with you about school bus drivers. In the district I drove for, it was mandatory training to empathize with, and assist students that were being bullied. In other words, “ZERO TOLERANCE.” It might not be the same in all districts worldwide, but it is making it;s way into being the norm. The driver in the film wasn’t believable to me for a few reasons: 1) He didn’t ask Ronan to get back into a seat. That is a universal rule. 2) When he saw the other kids passing the backpack around with a child screaming for it to be given back, was his signal to “curb” the bus and restore order. 3) He let Ronan off at a location that was NOT a regular bus stop. BIG no-no! It doesn’t matter what type of bus he was driving. The only exception being inclement weather, which was a non-issue obviously.

    That said… this short film was kinda predictable, but still got the message across in a believable manner. I remember feeling the way this boy felt when I was in elementary school (US). This brought back a lot of repressed memories. As athletic as I was, I was still not picked until the “Oh I’m stuck with him?” stage, and that made me miserable. Mostly because I didn’t hang out with those “cool kids”. Life does get better when you leave school, but it’s up to each of us to take advantage of the opportunities life has to offer us.

  21. Does anybody know what is David Lazarus’s ethnicity? He looks very Mediterranean. They say he is from South Africa. Is he Jewish, perhaps?

  22. “Adam” wrote:
    ‘I’ve had a tough year myself but managed to pull through, with no one supporting me at all, I havent had a reason to be happy for a long time and not sure what the future hold or indeed if I have one.’

    I’m sorry to hear that. Please allow me to give you a virtual hug.

    Have you been in touch with Bullying UK? Surely, they can give you some help.
    http://www.bullying.co.uk

  23. I do not understand how anyone can turn this into a gay-straight, or ethnic/racial issue. Bullying has always been there. Today, it seems as though it too often results in suicide. I think that’s the internet e-bully syndrome, making bullies out of anyone with a keyboard. It used to be you could take Karate lessons and the bullying would end.

    The poor kid depicted in this film is an unfortunate result of the times. Those of us who have children in our families should take heed: Kids are much more (and I’d dare say, much too) sensitive to bullying today. The reality of adolescent angst should NEVER result in anyone’s DEATH. That’s OUR fault for not paying attention.

    1. “I do not understand how anyone can turn this into a gay-straight, or ethnic/racial issue.”

      Maybe you didn’t see the same video as I did. As I said, above, the entire video was over-acted and directed. That aside, what else could the other students have to “bully” him? I doubt it was any “ethnic/racial issue” because nothing was “said” or implied to those points. It appears it was only a matter of “conformity” to his peers in mostly some type of athletic events. And “he proved” that he’s just as good (better?) than the rest. The shoelace untied and running? Sorry, not believable, because one couldn’t take more than a couple of steps/strides without falling over (assuming in the first place he couldn’t ‘feel’ the lace untied).

      So, with his looks, his style of dress being as good or better than the others, it appears to only leave the “gay” issues (in both its connotations).
      .
      .
      “I think that’s the internet e-bully syndrome, making bullies out of anyone with a keyboard.”

      Just like being/having homosexual tendencies (and at those ages, whatever that could be — “real” or imagined/suggested), recognizing bullies/bulling has just become more prevalent — not because of the Internet (who’s on the Internet when the bullying occurs on the school playground, classes or other physical locations?), but because it’s discussed after the fact on the Internet or is shown via the thousands of videos available.
      .
      .
      “Kids are much more (and I’d dare say, much too) sensitive to bullying today.”

      That may be partially true, but because of our (western, generally) lifestyles with gadgets, electronic toys, cell phones and other computer related items), it’s easy for one that doesn’t have access to those ‘goodies’ be ridiculed for not having/using them simply because the family can’t afford these child luxuries — and they are luxuries, for sure. Kids today can be “put aside” from the prevailing “clique” with any imagined reasoning by their peers and particularly their parents and what they say and do at home to influence their own children for whatever reasons.

      And, another reason that gays are bullied or just verbally put down? The others [bullies] can be none other than jealous of the attention that homosexuality is getting today in our schools, malls, Internet and other social outlets. And, not to exclude the lack of education some bullies have and are jealous of those that have/show more (and for that we can thank all our “wonderful” religious outlets).

  24. crying. I almost did this before. I didnt ride my bus home one day I ran as far as I could to a field. had clothes in my backpack for a sleep over. I had a hanger. I saw a old abonded house with a old rope swing. I wanted to do it. then I looked at my phone. my best friend messaged me saying I love u please don listen 2 them ur awesozme! and I cried. and Walked home.

    When I saw this movie.. at the ending where I saw the feet. I said to myself. he did it.. and cried. this is the saddest movie I have ever seen.

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