Bully: Alex Libby & Kelby Johnson: Where Are They Now?

Posted on April 1st, 2012 at 7:48 am

The emotionally-charged documentary Bully opened in select theaters this weekend and fans are wondering what happened to the key players in the film.

Now RumorFix can give you updates on Alex Libby, Kelby Johnson and Ja'Meya Jackson.

Alex, who is shown being hit, slapped and harassed on a school bus, will break your heart. In the trailer for the documentary, Alex says fellow students "punch me in the jaw, strangle me, take things out of my hand - sit on me."

So where is he now? Alex is now a freshman in high school. And, he tells Anderson Cooper, "Life's pretty good. I have good grades, tons of friends and my school is amazing."

Kelby, who is openly gay, remembers when one of her teachers called roll call: boys first, then girls, then Kelby.

So where is she now? She ended up dropping out of school and getting her GED.

Ja'Meya, who was an honor student who got bullied, lost it one day -- got her mother's loaded gun and brandished it on the school bus. After spending months in a Juvenile Delinquent Center, the student was finally released back into the custody of her mom.

Alex, Kelby and Ja'Meya are heroes -- they were bullied and lived to tell about it. Alex gives advice to other victims: "Hang in there. Never let go. Be strong. Tell someone -- don't make the same mistakes I did."

The documentary is not rated -- Miramax ignored the R rating that the MPAA gave the film due to graphic language. AMC theaters are allowing kids under 17 to come to the movie with a permission slip from their parents, while Cinemark is refusing to show the film.

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  • 41 Responses

    1. Cheche says:

      i want to see this documentary really bad. i think its ridiculous that they tried to rate the ‘R’. i mean really? there are so many other films out there that deserve the ‘R’ rating whereas this talks about real issues that need to be talked about.

    2. Beth says:

      I thank the Good Lord that this documentary was made.  I cannot wait to see it when it opens nationwide on the 13th!   And my 12 year old daughter wants to see it as badly.  The trailer is gut-wrenching by itself.  I’m sure the film will make for many watershed moments!  I applaud Alex Libby (all the children deserve to be recognized; what a terrible tragedy that those boys   took their lives out of sheer desire to escape the mental torture, and Kelby….just trying to be herself and being harrassed for it…);  Alex…..I’m so glad life is better for you!!!!  You are MY hero because you braved a camera for a year and exposed your life and your pain…..and in doing so, you woke up the eyes and ears of America, parents, teachers, society, and just about everyone on the planet.  YOU are brave, highly intelligent, well spoken, and with a quiet strength that allowed you to carry on.  May your life be blessed; you are a young man who deserves to be proud!    These kids were TORMENTED, IF NOT TERRORIZED.   And their stories will be remembered forever. 

    3. Anonymous says:

      I’m glad things are going well now for Alex, & I hope Kelby has a good life ahead as well. Now I want to know what happened to some of the adults in the film, especially the “Good As Gold” lady who insisted that no bullying ever occurred on the school bus. Does she still have a job…at taxpayer expense?

      • Anonymous says:

        I was wondering the exact same thing. She was horrible.. I wanted to scream when she lectured that little boy who didnt want to shake hands about how he made the bully feel. I was waiting for one of Alex’s parents to scream at her right over the desk with her “theres a problem??” attitude. My son was bullied and I am not proud of how I handled it but it worked. When I got tired of reasoning with the school I waited for the bullys parents after school and I lost it on them.. I think I actually scared them because the child has not bothered my son since.. so I had to be a bully to stop it.. and that just bites

        • denise says:

          omg , I so agree…..it was disgusting watching that scene…..she was too ignorant to understand that she was just as much a bully with her ignorant response…..truly repulsive. What aggravated me throughout the entire film was the response of most, not all, but most of the adults. They are the ones who have no moral right to be parents or working with children….they need to first acquire the basic human need of empathy first.

      • Ledkinger says:

        omg..I literally said the same thing as I walked out of the theater…I hope she went back and watched the movie and realized what an oblivious moran she was being. 

    4. John says:

      Now that this will be out I hope people take action.  Schools, bullies and parent of bullies need to be held accountable.  So far, everything I’ve heard is on the victims’ head… “stand up for yourself” but often when standing up for oneself, children get hurt even worse.  Why should children have to stand up for themselves just because they are trying to get an education?  Why aren’t bullies the one’s being told to stop?   I feel that only when the tables are turned to focus on the bullies, their parents, the school and their lack of action, then things will turn around.

    5. Michael says:

      A watered down distortion of what bully’s are all about. This movie is a HUGE disappointment! It fails miserably to capture the real cruelty that bully’s employ on their victims. The media really over-hyped this and most comments about this movie are from people who have not seen it. I highly doubt showing this movie in schools will change the behavior of any person who bully’s, adult or child. 

    6. Michael says:

      A watered down distortion of what bullies are all about. This movie is a HUGE disappointment! It fails miserably to capture the real cruelty that bullies employ on their victims. The media really over-hyped this and most comments about this movie are from people who have not seen it. I highly doubt showing this movie in schools will change the behavior of any person who chooses to be a bully, adult or child.

      • Diygirl says:

        You didn’t see the same movie I did. I’m not sure how you come to the conclusion that children committing suicide because they are bullied fails to capture ” the cruelty that bullies employ”. This movie isn’t about the bullies. It’s about the kids who are bullied, and how we, as a society fail to protect them. And maybe it won’t change the bully. But I expect it will change those who stand idly by and do nothing.

        • Michael says:

          I was shocked at how weak the message of this movie was. I bought into the excitment over this movie and my 8y/o son was very excited too as he was ruthlessly bullied in his last school. I bought tickets for the premier the day that they went on sale and was the first one in the theater today with my son. We sat towards the back so no one could see if we got teary eyed. that turned out to be far from necessary as the movie fails to pull the heart strings that IT EASILY SHOULD HAVE. Both of us felt that that movie was a HUGE disappointment. Sure the stories of children who took there own lives are heartbreaking but this movie failed to show how they got to that point. I learned a big lesson not to judge a movie by the hype that the media gives it. There is a very important message to be said about the bullying epidemic in modern society and this movie fails to give it the voice that it claims too or deserves

          • Annejess says:

             what michael – not gory enough for you?

            • MrWhiffle says:

              I think Michael has a point, and even seems a bit isolated, while the presence of this bullying is a lot more prevalent, and the intensity is ever present for those who experience it. Also, the causes of bullying aren’t addressed, although that didn’t seem to be the point of this. I did feel it was touching in its way, and I cringed plenty.

          • Anonymous says:

            I think you are missing the point of this. This is a starting point for discussing the issue. I seriously doubt showing a three hour director’s cut of Alex getting punched and choked would really help drive home the point better.

    7. Eazymanny13 says:

      it breaks my heart to ee people treated this way

    8. Dennisha Adams says:

      IM so happy bullied was made im proud of alex and all i could see is my little brother being alex it was really emotional i wanted to hop through the screen and show those bullies how alex felt. They are all my heros 🙂 – Dennisha Adams adamsdennisha@yahoo.com

    9. Kate Tierney says:

      I recently saw the documentary and although it was completely moving it did really pull back on the main source of bullying now: cyberbullying. I understand that the movie was created in 2009 and 2010, before cyberbullying was as large as it is today. The movie focused more on physical abuse and verbal than what is now killing thousands every year, but one quote said by Mr. Long, father of a suicide victim, Tyler Long, does capture how bullying really is, “Did he ever come home with blood runnin down his nose? No, the bullying Tyler got, effected him mentally” This truly is what bullying is all about in this kind of society. Did the movie move me? Yes, but I do feel that we should focus on the problems that are more prominent then those. Do I ever think bullying is going to go away? No, but we can take steps to minimize it, I really thought that Bully would have more to say on how to make differences. 

    10. Tierneymac says:

      Oh, but I am still really proud of Alex and Kelby. Most people after the movie said that they wanted to go to Sioux City and beat up all the people who ever hurt him, maybe not the best reaction after seeing the movie, but much support was given. As for Kelby, I’m sure that in a bigger city she might not have been as tormented, but I do think she has done very well for having to go through something as troubling as she did.

    11. S^2B says:

      Anybody know a way to connect with these kids on Facebook? I would really like to tell them that I’m just another person that believes in them after seeing this film. I wanted nothing more but to be able to reach out and be on that bus, ask Alex if he would like to sit next to me, start a real conversation with him. Tell Kelby how cool she seemed, how well she fit in, to tell Ja’Meya that although what she did was a mistake, as I’m sure she’s well aware of, that I’m glad she was able to stick up to herself. If anybody knows anything or if there is any way I could possibly reach out, please let me know

    12. Donna says:

      I watch Alex Libby videos on my computer all the time.  I really like him and am glad he is no longer bullied. I wish I had his home address, I want to send him a gift. I searched the internet, but can’t find it. Peace to you Alex :)~

    13. Jacky says:

      that principle is so dumb 

    14. Jacky says:

      she said that bus is alright and i watched the movie it was so sad 

    15. Kevinstewart347 says:

      me to there not bad people. So what if Kelby is gay people need to lear to leave people alone

    16. I can’t get over this movie, I am so happy to know the kids are doing better now! Alex’s story especially just broke my heart. What a sweet beautiful boy he is and apparently, thanks to this film, people are getting to know him now. I wish them all the best! I really hope this is the beginning of an end to this going on in schools!

    17. Anonymous says:

      I just got done watching this and I wish this was around when I was being bullied. I would think that the government would push this as a resource for the schools to view to help show what really happens and what it is like for the kids. Sadly, I know that will never happen because as much as I hate to admit it, most of the attitude from the bullies starts at home with the parents.

    18. Anonymous says:

      I found the obviously racist cop who thought Ja’Maya should have gotten hundreds of years for finally breaking and fighting back repulsive. He said it would have been ok if she were beaten within an inch of her life every day but the verbal, emotional and physical abuse that she received every day wasn’t enough for him.

      • d says:

        Yes….unbelievably disgusting. I pray she has a beautiful life ahead of her….it appeared she had no adults around her to understand what she went through.

    19. Muskettcat says:

      Yes what DID happen to the pathetic excuse for a school principal? “The kids were as good as gold” YOU COMPLETE IDIOT of COURSE they were good – their principal was on the bus. Principals, teachers and adults in authority need to take some responsibility for the welfare (mental, emotional and physical) of children under their care!

      • Hope says:

        Too often there is little to nothing that the schools can do. We didn’t raise those kids to be horrible people. When people start taking responsibility for the values they teach their children, there will be change. Unfortunately, almost any adult intervention puts a larger target on the child’s back. when are parents going to be held responsible for their children?

    20. Brian Swanson says:

      every parent and school official should be made to watch this film before their child is allowed into public school. the parents of the child who threatened severe and graphic torture and death to the boy should be investigated as to what they are allowing their child to watch and partake in. some behind the times people who are “in charge” – the guy talking about 45 felonies for the girl…i am waaaay conservative and believe in personal responsibility, but that young girl didn’t make a very cognitive choice to kidnap and assault anyone; her attempt was to “beat back” the bullying. ?what’s worse the threat w/ a gun or the threat w/ the tongue (of impending and unknown demise)? i mean, i can defend or do something at that exact moment when a gun is brandished, but if i’m told over and over again that in the future, X Y & Z is going to happen, i have no way of doing anything about that. that’s just as torturous. however, kelby fabricated being hit by a vehicle and other things – i cannot find any record of this anywhere. the bullying is real, but lying ruins the cause. over and over again, we hear of this lying and the end does NOT justify the means.

      • Thinkaboutit says:

        if no charges were pressed by her and her parents, and it is a small town that doesn’t care, where would you find record of it, exactly? Doesn’t mean she lied.

    21. girl says:

      does anyone know how one could send a letter to Kelby? I’ve considered addressing the envelope to the film studio, but that doesn’t seem sensible.

    22. shanita ayres says:

      #Alex u rock!!!

    23. alanier says:

      The Bully Effect didn’t come to my city so I waited till it came out on dvd my kids and I sat and watched this movie because my son too is being bullied, and I felt so bad for those kids and parents because I also went to the school,talked to teachers, and went to the board of education and still nothing was done. I think they should show this movie to all school systems because it was a great movie. And that principal was very wrong the way she handled things.(When Alex’s parents came to talk to her and when she told that little boy to shake the other boys hand. When him how did it make him feel when the boy slapped him. What type of leader is that.I think that this movie would open the eyes to a lot of things gooing on in school.

    24. 3vyan says:

      wow! I don’t know why ppl bully u. Even in hawaii ppl bully me, thats cuz they’re idiots. Ppl should stop bullying cuz wat if they were in ur shoez.

    25. 3vyan says:

      u no wats F’d up. it took a movie for ppl to respect u! A MOVIE!!! ppl should of treated u with respect before the movie! ppl think their to good to respect “different” ppl. when i first saw u…im like awwwwwwwwh cute! then i heard about ppl bullying u, i got pissed. i <3 ppl but their just cruel. u made an impact on my life. IM NOT GIRLY AND I CRIED WATCHIN THE MOVIE! I JUST WANTED TO BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF THOSE BULLIES, instead i got pissed puched the TV and now my hand is bruised. i was being stupid. ^-^

    26. PissedOffPanda says:

      It took a movie for ppl to respect him. It’s ok 4 other ppl who don’t know but, ppl who know him to respect him. I still wouldn’t be their friend cuz they treaeted me like shiz!

    27. PissedOffPanda says:

      PissedOffPanda is 3vyan

    28. ttttttt says:

      this movie was inspirational. the families that went through the pain of having to see their children bullied and go to extreme lengths of killing them selves have shown tremendous courage. This movie will change many lives and it has changed mine

    29. Kyle says:

      Just watched the film last night and it broke my heart. No other way to say it. I am a young male who helped raise my neice and nephew and watched them go through racist bullying for being half black, I have seen the worst in people and is awful. I am ashamed to say that I grew up not more than 15 minutes away from Tuttle and we had a girl who was lesbian and she was treated the same way. I was one of her few friends, she couldnt take it so she moved back to Ohio even though she had been in trouble there. I remember realizing even then as a junior in high school that small towns while having many pleasant aspects can bring out the worst in people. Truly heartbreaking

    30. former victim of bullying says:

      I’ll tell you what angered me. It was the scene where Alex’s father berated him for not fighting back. To top that off, he tried to place a guilt trip on Alex by reminding him that his younger sister would be attending high school with him in the near future, and that he would have to learn to fight to protect his sister. My comment to this parental ignorance is that Alex’s sister is your responsibility, not Alex’s. Alex played no role in the conception of that child; that was your pleasure. The protection of your daughter (and your son) is your responsibility, sir.

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