Rats & Bullies (2004) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • At age 14, Dawn-Marie Wesley hung herself in her bedroom using the family dog's leash. She left a suicide note which named three girls from her school whom had systematically bullied and threatened her. The three girls were held accountable in a precedent setting court case. Relational aggression, suicide, bullying, Restorative Justice and the actions and consequences of not only the three bullies but also that of their victim, are explored in depth.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • This film which began in 2004 and finished production in 2011, reveals the ramifications of suicide (bullycide) and relational aggression.

    RATS & BULLIES tells the powerful true story of Dawn-Marie Wesley, who at the age of 14, hung herself in her bedroom with her dogs leash, after being systematically bullied and threatened by three girls at her high school. The horrifying incident fueled a groundbreaking investigation by Canadas Crown, which led to the revolutionary and precedent setting court case, where for the first time in North America, teens were arrested, charged, and made to stand trial for Bullying.

    RATS & BULLIES was made in the research done for the Feature Film Project, THE TOUGHEST GIRLS which will show the true story of the horrifying incident and court case that changed legislation, and changed the lives of all involved forever. RATS & BULLIES not only tells of this compelling and emotional story, but it also provides solutions to bullying and relational aggression.

    Featured in the Documentary is NY Times Best-selling Author/Bullying expert Rosalind Wiseman, who gives her advice to teachers, schools, teens, and parents on how to prevent bullying.

    An Exclusive Interview with Honorable Court Judge Jill Rounthwaite, who presided over and handed down the precedent setting ruling. Judge Rounthwaite has never before or since granted an interview on this historic court case.

    The emotional interview with Dawn-Maries brother DJ Wesley, who at 12 years old, was the person to discover his sister hanging in her bedroom.

    The powerful and moving interview with Dawn-Maries mother Cindy Wesley, who is now an advocate for bullying prevention.

    Interviews with Dawn-Maries best friend Paula, townspeople, another mother whose son almost took his life due to bullying, and news reporters who covered the case

    An exclusive and emotional interview with one of the teen girls who was arrested, charged, and made to stand trial for bullying Dawn-Marie. In hearing her story, it shows other teens the life threatening danger of bullying, and the devastating lesson learned.

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