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What Should Happen to Juvenile Bullies of Bus Monitor?

A group of middle schoolers in upstate New York who tormented an elderly bus monitor on Monday had the tables turned on them when they uploaded a video of their actions to Facebook.

A video of a group of middle schoolers from upstate New York tormenting a elderly bus monitor has had repercussions nobody expected. The video, uploaded to Facebook by the bullies themselves, went viral, turning the tables completely on the bullies.

According to a story in the Christian Science Monitor, sympathy began pouring in for the 68-year-old grandmother who was the target of their attack. With it, followed a flood of donations -- more than $360,000 and counting by Thursday evening.  The site had been set up just to raise enough money to send her on a vacation, but by the time it’s finished she could probably retire.

The video (see Youtube) went on for 10 minutes with the group of middle schoolers cursing and taunting the woman as she sat quietly and cried. Despite it all, however, she does not want to give up her job and nor does she want the students charged. (Warning - offensive and obscene language)

Our question is, after watching the video and seeing what the elderly bus monitor was put through by the students, what do you think their punishment should be?

North Georgia Weather June 22, 2012 at 12:40 PM
They should be sent to a boot camp.
Sharon Swanepoel June 22, 2012 at 12:43 PM
This is disturbing on so many levels. I have a grandchild entering middle school in the fall and intend to sit her down and let her listen to the whole video. We are then going to have a discussion on respect of elders - in fact just respect of anyone - and what to do if she is ever witness to that type of behavior. Shocking.
Rona Gibbs Watts June 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I agree N. GA Weather. It needs to be something to make these kids really think about their actions. And make them wear a tshirt everyday that says "I'm a bully. I have to wear this so you know to stay away from me because I make fun of peoples appearances". They should also ban them from riding any school bus period. Parents must find them another way to school including sporting events if they play and field trips. They should also post another video, sincerely apologizing to the beautiful lady. God Bless her.
Sharon Swanepoel June 22, 2012 at 01:11 PM
I think they should be given "extensive" community service. Maybe make them work in the kitchen, facilities and gardens at a local senior center and certainly make sure they learn to be respectful of their elders while there.
Floyd Akridge June 22, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Ya know...Truett Cathy had a great response to the two young girls that broke into one of his houses and vandalized the place. For what I believe was a year they had to give up TV and write a book report once a week. I'm also thinking they walk to school for the next year.
Kim Roberto June 22, 2012 at 01:26 PM
This just broke my heart. I was appalled at what those boys said to that lady. They should be banned from a school bus for the rest of their school years (which may not be many, by the way they are acting already), made to do work for the woman at her house every weekend for a year or longer (whatever she needs done, mowing grass, painting, etc.), work at a senior center doing the same things, and make an apology video with their full names, and faces to be put on YouTube and national TV. Also, their parents and they should attend some type of sensitivity training. The parents had to have heard this type of language from their little darlings before, so they should get in on the punishment too. They should have stopped this type of trash talk with some consequences long before middle school. I could go on and on, but I may get kicked off this board if I said what I really wanted to say. This is just unacceptable. I give the woman (Karen) a ton of credit for keeping her cool in this situation.
Mitch June 22, 2012 at 01:37 PM
This lady is now getting close to receiving $500k in donations. I'd gladly take that abuse for half a million dollars! Not that I think it is okay but just saying. Boot camp and everything Rona said is a good start as punishment for these kids. My daughter starts Kindergarten this fall. My wife and I are struggling whether to let her take the bus. My wife is a stay-at-home so driving her would not be a problem but we want her to learn some independence and ride with her friends in the neighborhood. This video along with other stories we have heard has made it a very difficult choice. Anyone have any advice one way or the other?
North Georgia Weather June 22, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Mitch, our bus drivers are trained very well on how to handle issues like this. They can even up to pulling over and requesting the police. I can't vouch for the older kids but I can say our elementary bus discipline issues are handled very quickly. 99.9% of the younger kids are respectful to the adults.
Sharon Swanepoel June 22, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Mitch, see if you can identify an older child in the neighborhood who you trust and ask them to just keep an eye on your little one for you. I was fortunate in having an older sibling for my youngest on the bus when they began riding, but that isn't always the case. I guess someone has to be the one in the family to take on the challenge first. I do know a couple of bus drivers and Steve is right, they have some good tools at their disposal when it comes to keeping the kids in line. I guess in the district where this incident is from, a couple of bouncers should probably be considered as bus monitors, or maybe some returning vets or retired police officers!
jerry moore June 22, 2012 at 01:52 PM
This is a problem that WE adults have created. In our efforts to curb child abuse we have placed burdens upon school employees to report any suspected abuse of a child under the fear that they could go to jail if they don't. Thus children have come to learn that they can do and get away with things that we adults would have got our butt spanked for doing. Basically the schools have shifted from adults being right to children being right first and then we will think about what the adults role will be afterwords. I once worked for Gwinnett County Schools and the things that they let students get away with is unimaginable. I was told that I could not wear a baseball cap while on campus because students used those hats as gang symbols. I asked what that had to do with me wearing a hat and my supervisor looked me straight in the eye and asked me how would I discipline a student who was wearing a hat, when I was wearing one? I told her simple. I would explain to the CHILD that there are certain things that ADULTS get to do that CHILDREN don't get to do until they become ADULTS. Needless to say that went over like a lead balloon. I mean really children and adults have to be treated equally? Not in my world.
Mitch June 22, 2012 at 02:05 PM
NGW, we were very pleased with everything we heard in that regard when we had a ride on a bus during K-round up. It's just you see stories like this and a few comments from neighbors telling us about teasing and bullying by other student riders that has us a little concerned. Of course it could happen anywhere else or at school for that matter. I'm sure we will put her on the bus, just a little anxiety I'm sure all first time Kindergarten parents face.
Mitch June 22, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Thanks Sharon, there are two 5th grade girls on our street that will be riding as well and are good friends of ours, so that does give us some reassurance. The K's also sit in the front of the bus closest to the driver which is also a good thing.
North Georgia Weather June 22, 2012 at 02:12 PM
They try to put the younger kids toward the front of the bus also. I would have no problem putting my kids on an elementary school bus (mine are 22 and 19 though!)
Beth June 22, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Put total blame on the parents for raising such animals. The kids should be thrown off the bus for the rest of their school lives. If parents would teach their children respect, morals and values this would put a stop to alot of the disrespect and bullying that is occuring each and every day. Children learn what they are taught or lack thereof and the parents should ultimately be responsible for their childrens actions. I really don't want to hear from anyone in regard to "you can't control what your child does". If they are raised right you don't have to control what they do They will make choices right or wrong and should have reprecussions for their actions. The little animals definitely need punishing but so do their parents! And yes, I was a full-time working mother but still was very involved in my childs life and the "fear of God" doesn't hurt either. And I was NEVER my childs friend!
American Patriot June 22, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Punishment must fit the crime and justice should be served. This is a great opportunity to teach the kids a lesson and to dissuade others from doing the same thing. I do like the idea of banning them from the bus but not sure that is a real punishment that would affect their parents more. I think I would go with some physical labor to improve their community so they feel a sense ownership and pride in it and maybe their first semester weekends should be spent teaching others kids not to do as they have done.
Stephanie Gross June 22, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Karen Klein Bullies Apologize: Boys Express Their Regret On A360 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/karen-klein-bullying-video-bullies-apologize-to-bus-monitor_n_1617404.html I don't think an apology is enough in this case. I agree with Sharon's suggestion of community service.
David June 22, 2012 at 06:11 PM
I think a time out is definitely called for. Send these boys to their rooms, individual rooms, not all together. I might even unplug the X-Box for an hour. But let them keep their phone in case they need to contact someone in an emergency. Its actually good to see their ingenuity in posting to YouTube. Not every kid is capable of doing that. Now that I see they have apologized, maybe unplugging the X-Box is too harsh. But 30 minutes alone in their rooms should be sufficient. And maybe we should hire a bus monitor with thicker skin. I assume this was just done as a stunt so she could collect donations. BTW, if anyone thinks I'm serious about anything I've typed here, think again. And if anyone thinks any punishment I've suggested is too harsh, I'm hiring myself out as a babysitter. Send your kids to me for the day and get back respectable young people...possibly with a limited ability to sit down for a few days.
Tammy Osier June 23, 2012 at 12:38 AM
North Georgia Weather we had a Juvenile bootcamp here in walton for the last three years; I was the Female Physical training Instructor. We had hoped to be renewed for 5 years, but the state chose not to fund us. In stead the after school programs will go on. Too bad. We had so many breakthroughs and victories. Many parents said that the program was a life saver. Even though there were court appointed kids there, parents could choose to put their kids there for 30 days to see if it helped keep them out of the system. THey need many more like it. I'll miss it and miis my kids that had great turnarounds.
Sharon Swanepoel June 23, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Tammy, it is such a shame that the Walton Count Boot Camp went away. I spoke to quite a few parents while it was in operation who said it completely changed the attitude of their teens.
Debi N. June 23, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I agree the boys need punished. But I also would like to understand why someone gets paid $15,000 a year to ride in the back of a school bus twice a day without any tools to do their job. She is the bus monitor!! She should have had some way to alert the bus driver to pull over and deal with these kids. Most likely, this type of thing went on all the time and there were never consequences. Would the bus monitor have done anything to help out a student being bullied? I hope so. I also agree that these kids' parents need a few lessons in teaching their kids about respect and kindness. But did you notice not one kid on that bus did anything to stand up for Karen Klein? I think the problem is much worse than what we see on the video. The kids are use to acting this way and the adults in their lives (including bus monitors) are afraid to do anything.
Brian Crawford June 23, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Every time you start to blame crappy teachers for our education system PLEASE remember this video This is the raw material today's teachers are given to educate. These kids deserve stern punishment but no doubt their parents will complain about it. http://blog.geeksaresexytech.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/report.jpg
Sharon Swanepoel June 23, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Brian, I think one of the biggest problems is parents are so quick to defend their children's behavior. Growing up, if we got into trouble at school, we got into trouble when we got home for getting into trouble at school. I don't think that goes on so much anymore.
Elrodabc123 June 23, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Where did these kids learn their vocabulary? I know it wasn't from teachers or bus monitors. I feel these kids have had a lot of practice using their filthy language as it seemed to come so easy. It breaks my hear young people talk with such filth and even more for directing it toward an innocent person, regardless of their age. I do feel they deserve severe punishment,,,,bit just a few days in ISS or something simple. Also, consider if this is a first-time for any of these kids to get into trouble. If it is not the first time for any of the offenders, the repeat offenders should be removed from the general public and sent to an alternative school program with transportation provided by parents.
Sharon Swanepoel June 23, 2012 at 09:23 PM
I just went to Walmart in Monroe and there was some packaging in the bottom of the buggy. I started to empty it and a young boy, probably 9 or 10, said, "Here, let me help you with that." He emptied the buggy and threw the trash away before following his mother into the store. I don't know who he is, but he absolutely renewed my faith in our youth. This episode with the bus monitor really shocked me, so I was especially gratified by the respect of this young boy. Whoever he is, and his parents, I would like to say, thank you - you made my day!
M.K. OSBORNE June 24, 2012 at 01:57 AM
We should all make a big deal of good behavior and manners as much as we get appalled at the bad .Its kind of like good customer service vs bad as far as being vocalized .One kid many years ago helped me out of the blue , so i thanked him in front of his parents and let them know they were doing a good job , found out what school he attended and wrote a letter to the Principal to further recognize him , and yes i followed through to make sure it was completed.
Tammy Osier June 24, 2012 at 02:51 AM
I am an Elementary school P.E. Coach and we spend a lot of time calling out kids that exemplify over and above behavior. There was one kid that stayed in trouble all the time. We made sure that he understood consequences and enforced quickly and precisely. But at the same time, when he did well, we made sure that he knew that we noticed. We worked with him all year, and at the end of the year had the privilege to give him one of the highest awards that we give in our department. We also got a letter from him thanking us for disciplining him, and not giving up on him. The young man wants to be a Police Officer when he grows up so we tried to use a lot of the things he learned from the consequences to help him understand how it will help him or hinder him in his future endeavors.
M.K. OSBORNE June 24, 2012 at 03:36 AM
consistency is the key to good and bad behavior , follow through is the fuel that will empower the child to make the choice.
Ray Sunshine June 26, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Any consequences for these boys? Clearly they have not been taught to respect ones elders. How do they treat children? The one dad I heard speak, spoke of his embarrasment. Mmmmmmmm, I detect a selfish man here. He made this issue about himself and his embarrassment. I heard nothing about restitution or punishment for his sons crime of bullying. A written apology would be the first order of business in my home, then my son would be at her home for the rest of the summer mowing her yard, cleaning gutters and shoveling snow, plus walking to school. Sad.........no punishment.....we'll be seeing more bad behavoir out of this gang of goons.

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