This is a very good little movie that I chanced upon the other night on YouTube. It’s an American Girl movie called CHRISSA STANDS STRONG.
Chrissa is a perfectly nice but rather shy little girl who moves to a new town. Her teacher seats her at a table with three girls who begin to bully her relentlessly for no other reason than that she’s pretty, new, and on the quiet side. In other words, the character of Chrissa is the kind of child who is often the preferred target of bullies.
It’s true to life to see that Chrissa, and another little girl called Gwen, do not do anything to provoke the bullies. They don’t have to. The bullying contingent zeroes in on whatever they do, no matter how harmless or benign, and makes an issue out of it, which happens to be the way these situations really work. Say good morning to a bully and they’ll twist it into a boomerang to toss back in your face, hoping to hit you with it.
Chrissa is played beautifully by Sammi Hanratty. Tara, the nastiest kid of them all, is played to absolute sneering perfection by a child actress named Adair Tishler. She’s so terrific in this role that it’s staggering.
Here’s the movie, available free on YouTube.