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Synopsis – Film Two

Darren is an 8th grade extrovert with a group of friends some might label ‘Goths’ – best friend Oli, Sadie, Elizabeth and Jeremy. Darren is confident, playful and loyal – and promptly steps forward to defend Sadie’s diminutive brother Zac when class bully Jake (with the support of friends Deandre and Jimmy) takes Zac’s mp3 player.

Dinah is new to the school, having recently moved with her family from New York. She is establishing a friendship with Rosaline and Jamie when Nicole starts picking on her – initially for no apparent reason, then fuelled by jealousy when Jake, who recently ‘dumped’ Nicole, flirts with the newcomer.

To assert his dominance, Jake aggressively shoves Darren into a wall as he arrives at school the next day. And when Dinah manages to stymie Nicole’s potential-game-winning run in flag-football, Nicole escalates the harassment by vandalizing Dinah’s gym locker (with the help of friend Kayla) then publicly embarrasses her in the cafeteria.

Frustrated by Darren’s resilience, Jake becomes increasingly determined to break his spirit. On a bitterly cold day he steals Darren’s coat, forcing him to walk home unprotected; then Jake and Deandre grab him when he’s half dressed and try to force him from the change room to embarrass him in front of the girls, only to be interrupted when Oli tricks them into thinking there’s a teacher nearby – and in turn is threatened with similar treatment.

When Dinah stands up to Nicole, Nicole convinces Jimmy to grab Dinah’s butt on the crowded stairway, then with Kayla and friend Lexi, the trio intimidate Dinah at the bus stop – causing her to walk home in the cold rather than share the bus with the girls. However, the next day when Dinah sees Nicole and her friends mocking two hearing-impaired students, Dinah has had enough. A teacher intercedes as the argument turns physical, and the girls are sent the Principal’s office – but Dinah refuses to talk about her problems.

Furious that Dinah is let off with a warning when she is suspended from school, Nicole leaves abusive messages on Dinah’s cell phone, then schemes with the other girls to really ‘get her’. Darren is worried about Jake’s relentless harassment, but is too concerned about his reputation to turn to a teacher for help. Meanwhile Jake and Deandre plan to turn people against Darren by spreading a rumor that he’d used the ‘N’-word in reference to Deandre.

The girls also use rumor as their weapon, and while Nicole sits at her home computer sending a bulletin to hundreds of ‘friends’, Kayla and Lexi talk to the class gossip and graffiti the bathroom wall – and soon everyone is talking about Dinah and the claim that she is pregnant. Sadly, Dinah’s new friends Rosaline and Jamie offer little support.

When Oli, Elizabeth and Sadie accuse Darren of racism, a desperate Darren feels he has little option but to confront the problem head on – and challenges Jake to meet him in the park after school. Scared and isolated, when Darren arrives at the park a large crowd has gathered to witness his humiliation.

In concluding, we learn that the fight was stopped by a teacher, but later Deandre and Jimmy jumped Darren, and Jake viscously beat him. Jake and his friends were caught, their punishment severe – and as a consequence they now leave Darren in peace. Dinah told neither her parents nor teachers about what had happened. She toughed it out, and in time Nicole and her friends now leave her alone.

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