The cruelty of adolescents never ceases to astonish me, and the obliviousness of their parents is downright frightening. Our "Christian" culture warriors will blame Hollywood and progressive ideals - but one must realize that the parents who raised these kids likely instilled them with "traditional values," for what those are worth. Being a rural community, I'm sure many of them attend church. I suppose it goes with the territory.
Faith Karimi reports for CNN: A profanity-laced video of middle school students in upstate New York verbally abusing a bus monitor is sparking an outpouring of support as strangers worldwide rally to her side. In the video, the students taunt Karen Klein, 68, with a stream of profanity, insults, jeers and physical ridicule. Some boys demand to know her address, saying they want to come to her house to perform sexual acts and steal from her. The bullying continues unabated for about 10 minutes in the video, reducing Klein to tears as a giggling student jabs her arm with a book in one instance...
The video of Ms. Klein being taunted is not easy to watch. She handles herself with quiet dignity. You can bet your bottom dollar that the parents of these out-of-control kids would defend their little angels, or feign ignorance.
"Klein, a bus monitor for the Greece Central School District, said she tried her best to disregard the harassment. The students involved attend Greece Athena middle school. "I tried to ignore it ... I didn't hear some stuff and tried to shut them out," Klein told CNN affiliate WHAM. She said one comment from a boy aboard the bus was especially painful. He tells her that she does not have family because "they all killed themselves because they didn't want to be near you." Klein's oldest son took his own life 10 years ago, according to the affiliate.
Following the school bus clip, you'll see a video by YouTube user AwesomeArchfiend which neatly sums up the reaction of many Americans. Conservative activists, often eager to enable bullies, will react with their "boys-will-be-boys" excuse.
Klein is a brave woman. She insists she won't be quitting her job. Susan Clark reports: “That’s not like me,” Karen Klein told ABC News when asked whether she might resign from her job as a bus monitor for the Greece School District in Rochester, N.Y. “I’m not a real vindictive person. I just know I want something to happen to make them [the students] realize what they did.” ...At one point, she is seen taking off her sunglasses and wiping at her eyes. “Are you sweating? Karen, Karen! Are you sweating?” one student is heard asking her. She shakes her head, and the student adds: ”Then why is there water on your face?” “I’m crying,” she replies... Police have interviewed four of the students, but no arrests have been made. (Of course not. The police are practically useless in cases like this.) The Greece school district said its bullying team is investigating, and the students will be disciplined. (Oh please. An hour or two of detention.) The father of one of the teenage boys who was involved in the bullying says his "heart broke" to see that his son was part of the abuse, but that the boys have suffered enough with their faces made public in the video.
That man who said his "heart broke" when he discovered his son was hurling abuse at Ms. Klein should perhaps reflect on his failure as a father. Kids must be taught by their parents to respect others, they won't learn it on their own.