Blowback for bullying

Outcry over abused bus monitor should start national dialogue

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Americans have not only opened their hearts, but also their wallets, to a 68-year-old school bus monitor in New York caught on video being mercilessly verbally abused by four middle-school students.

Nearly half a million dollars have poured in to an Internet-based fund-raising appeal for Karen Klein, whose tears during the abuse are even mocked by the students.

The outpouring for her is awfully kind, and not to be discouraged.

But it’s not enough. Not nearly so.

The students brutalized Klein with acid tongues, the likes of which most of us have never imagined, much less endured. In the video, students from the Greece Central School District, near Rochester, N.Y., repeatedly call her fat and hurl other insults, vulgarities and even threats at her.

“The 10-minute video plays like a reality TV version of Lord of the Flies, writes the Los Angeles Times.

As unpleasant as it is to even read, you need to know what these kids said, in order to understand the depth of their depravity.

As recounted by the Times, “The gray-haired Klein sits mostly silent on the Grace Central School District bus in North Greece, N.Y., as she’s mocked by foul-mouthed 12- and-13-year-olds who repeatedly pelt her with f-bombs, call her fat, poke at her hearing aid and comment about how much she’s sweating.

“As the harassment increases, the boys call her a troll, ask for her address so they can urinate and defecate on her doorstep, and say that if they used a knife to cut her open” ...

Well, we just can’t bring ourselves to type what they said.

In addition, at one point a student tells her, “you don’t have a family because they all killed themselves because they didn’t want to be near you.”

Klein did, indeed, suffer through the suicide of a son 10 years ago.

Lord of the Flies indeed.

The Times calls the fund for Klein “a financial indicator of the public’s outrage over the boys’ bullying behavior and a way to collectively apologize to Klein.” And we’re all for it.

But, again, it’s not enough.

First, the boys should be punished as severely as the law allows. The school district was considering whether to suspend them for the entire coming school year. It should.

Second, the parents of those students ought to update the 12 labors of Hercules for their little darlings to perform.

Most important, this incident should spark a new national discussion on civility and parenting.

With the emphasis on the parenting. If there are monumental problems with kids today, it’s more the parents’ fault than the kids’, in many cases. There are large packs of youths who appear to have been raised by wolves – or, worse, by cable television.

There needs to be a renewed emphasis on holding parents accountable for the antisocial actions of their offspring.

Maybe as a society we need to stop rewarding, encouraging and even subsidizing rampant illegitimate procreation, often via multiple and anonymous sperm donors.

Is it even possible to get back to the time when an observant adult could correct an absent parent’s child in public? When did adults stop having one another’s backs? Could we ever bring back the notion of shame?

Let’s not just throw money at this problem.

Let’s put our hearts and souls into fixing this.

Join a parents’ organization – one that supports and spreads good parenting principles, and fights for decency and civility. There are plenty on the Internet. Or start one yourself with your friends.

Demand civility from your schools, your politicians and those around you. Don’t reward degenerate entertainment with either your dollars or your time. Recognize trash and don’t buy it. Be a Big Brother or Big Sister. Help out at the Boys and Girls Club. Be a mentor in the neighborhood and in the schools.

You don’t have to have a title to be a leader. Be a leader in the movement to restore civility to this society.

You want to do something for Karen Klein and everyone like her? Step up.

That’s as good as gold.

Comments (10) Add comment
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Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/02/12 - 02:09 am
7
0
Well-said.

The choice is a simple, binary one: Step up or roll over.

jic
352
Points
jic 07/02/12 - 08:08 am
7
3
And your gay sons and
Unpublished

And your gay sons and daughters endure this throughout their childhoods and you argue that the bullying is free speech!

seenitB4
91139
Points
seenitB4 07/02/12 - 08:38 am
9
0
Tip of the iceberg

This is a sample of what we have produced in the last years.....& some say no to spanking....give me a break!

eb97
835
Points
eb97 07/02/12 - 10:07 am
7
0
Well, just look at how

Well, just look at how corrupt our local, state, federal government has been and look at how they behave at meetings and elsewhere in the public eye. The children see this and have learned that it is acceptable behavior. The adults need to teach the youth by example, not just words. We can turn this thing around but it takes everyone on all levels. If we don't, God help us all.

Bizkit
33275
Points
Bizkit 07/02/12 - 10:52 am
5
0
Ya know freedom of speech is

Ya know freedom of speech is afforded to all U.S. citizens-makes you wonder would the SCOTUS rule on this issue (hypothetically) that minor children are afforded this freedom regardless of age . Frightening thought for education and society. Frozen blastocyts from in vitro fertlity lawsuits are given rights in those specific cases (or a least treated as a human being).

Bizkit
33275
Points
Bizkit 07/02/12 - 11:00 am
4
2
Bullying is kinda a part of

Bullying is kinda a part of sports to some degree. The nature of male competition is often to psych your opponent verbally as well as physical assault, and often within your own team bullying, hazing, code red kinda behavior is takes place. Behavior modification. We are resorting back to animals culturally-we see it in our youth and the vast array of behaviors from geeks to vampires (and everything on the internet should be FREEeeeeeeeee!). What was that lament-oh yeah. God help us. You said that right.

allhans
24142
Points
allhans 07/02/12 - 02:37 pm
2
0
Remember when pulling a girls

Remember when pulling a girls pig-tails was acceptable behavior?

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 07/02/12 - 05:32 pm
0
0
Bullying is
Unpublished

an ancient and present day form getting your point across. Just ask the naacp, the kings and queens of its usage.

Bizkit
33275
Points
Bizkit 07/02/12 - 05:41 pm
4
0
I wonder if this is

I wonder if this is parenting, cultural, generational, or societal? You know you read about young serial killers and psychopaths and how they torture animals as youths and other aberrant behavior. Makes you wonder what this crowd of kids will be for skipping animals and going directly to people.

AutumnLeaves
8589
Points
AutumnLeaves 07/02/12 - 05:50 pm
4
0
If you heard....

If you heard the bullying that was targeted at me and my family that I had to listen to WHERE I LIVED for 7 years, you would think this was "much ado about nothing" in comparison. Bullying is a plague and those that allow it to continue are part of the problem. Those that didn't help us when we BEGGED for help should be ashamed of themselves. I did everything I was supposed to do within the law and propriety to get it to stop to no avail. We got no effective help. It very nearly ruined my life and made the neighborhood environment torturous for our family life. This should NOT HAPPEN! I was told to talk to the parents about the verbal abuse, so I had to clarify to the authorities: That WAS the parents! They were not reasonable people. I found out that the hard way and that they had substance abuse problems. Approaching them about ANYTHING was dangerous.

xpresso1
68
Points
xpresso1 07/03/12 - 12:33 am
3
0
This just goes to show how

This just goes to show how bad our society has declined. If this is how they bully an adult, I shudder to think how they bully other children. It is very sad that they feel like they have a right to treat another person this way. I am glad that money has been raised to help her, but what happens to the kids who did this? They should be made to work for her all summer and they definitely need some classes on social skills.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 07/04/12 - 09:44 am
0
0
I think that the bus driver

I think that the bus driver should be allowed to remove any student who is displaying unacceptable behavior. Call their parents and tell them that their precious little snowflake will be waiting for them on the corner.

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