Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Bullied Bus Monitor: Enough Already

Did anyone hear about the elderly bus monitor that was bullied by middle school students out in Rochester? If you didn’t hear about it click here:

If you would like to actually see the abuse click here:

It was a horrible video to watch. The things that were being said to this woman were disgusting. Bright spot: A website called came up with an idea to raise $5,000 for this woman so that she could take a top-notch vacation. But get this: As of today the website has raised 225,000 dollars. Who would donate to this?

Don’t get me wrong, names do hurt, but kids will be kids, and hopefully they will be taught that this is unacceptable, and hopefully they will be punished. But let’s put this into perspective. Bullying has been happening since the caveman. I once worked as a bus monitor. A student spit in my face. Another student threw a rock at me. What did the school do about it? None of your business. That's confidential. And if you put a camera on me I'd say, "No comment." I didn’t go on Oprah. I didn't call John Gray. Abuse is not officially “part” of the job, but it is "kind of" part of the job when you work with 12 year olds, some of which may be very troubled.

Ms. Klein was quick to hit the news circuit and talk shows, soaking back the tears to take her story of survival to the airwaves, playing the part of the sad granny to perfection. But please, please don’t tell me this website plans on giving this woman 225,000 dollars (or even a penny more than the planned 5,000) because a few kids called her fat. There are many more important things to be done with this money than giving it to a woman who got “bullied” by some 12 year olds. That’s all I’m saying here.

How about this? Why not give that money to a child who has been bullied? A child who may be thinking about doing harm to himself or herself over something posted on Facebook or Twitter? If I was Karen Klein that's what I'd want done with the money. It is about the kids when you're in education, right? She would be wrong to take that money.

To be technical, Ms. Klein probably should be fired from her job. She broke two important rules. 1) You don't ever allow news cameras into your home to discuss children at a school you work for. That's confidentiality 101. Do you know how many teachers, TAs, monitors, etc could call press conferences or go on FOX & FRIENDS and ANDERSON COOPER 360? 2) If you are an educator, on any level, you ALWAYS defend the kids publicly. Even if they are wrong, you don't comment on it or perpetuate it. And you sure as heck don't profit from it. It is ALWAYS about the kids first, even the ones capable of this act, and everything else second. If you don't believe that, DON'T work with kids.

And the media? This story came before the Sandusky Trial update today on CNN. What? Kids bullying a bus monitor is more important than a man allegedly molesting and raping children? Really?

225,000 dollars?! People who have had family members murdered in cold blood don't get that much money in Civil Suits. She better not accept a penny of that. Now Southwest Airlines is going to fly her to Disney World. How about this, Southwest: Fly a bullied child to DW if you want to fly somebody. Not a sixty-year-old employee of the school. It would be wrong of her to accept that free flight.

It was a nice gesture, but maybe we can use this awesome outpouring of kindness (225,000 dollars and counting) to really help somebody or something that is in serious need of such help. Maybe.

If you're looking for a lesson in mob mentality click here:

Check out some of the over-the-top reader comments (250+ of them) about what should be done with these kids . . .

* They should be grounded for life!
* They should be beaten!
* They should be expelled from school forever!
* They should be put in prison!
* This woman is a hero!

Enough already!

Brian Huba

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