The Bus Monitor, Bullying, and a painful reminder of the past

Posted on June 21, 2012

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Someone has posted the full video on YouTube regarding the shameful, offensive and frankly “lack of home training” many of the students on this bus displayed toward an elderly bus Monitor. I couldn’t watch the whole ten minutes. I’ve seen this type of thing before unfortunately, though the participants were different. However back in the day I can honestly say that either an adult or an older student stepped in to right a wrong. And yes, I was affected by their courage to speak up, so that whenever I saw or heard something incorrect I stepped up, and still do.

I’ve embedded the video and listed a link:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6LtvfK8qsk

 

 

Here’s a link to the CNN article on this sad, sorry tale:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/21/us/new-york-bullied-bus-monitor/index.html

 

 

“You’re so fat,” one student says

 

“What’s your address so I can fruggin’ piss all over your door” (stated 4:02 minutes into the 10 minute video)

 

One student says Klein’s family killed themselves because “they didn’t want to be near you.”**Please be aware that Mrs. Klein’s son committed suicide ten years ago**

 

 

Public Statement from bus Monitor Mrs. Karen Klein:

“I’m sorry that your sons acted the way they did,’’ Klein said. “I’m sure they don’t act that way at home, but you never know what they’re going to do when they’re out of the house. They should’ve been taught to respect their elders no matter who it is.”

 

Link:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/47896993/ns/today-today_news/t/school-bus-attendant-reduced-tears-students-taunts/#.T-Mi8bVq2TP


You just don’ treat people like that. You just DON’T

Okay, listen. I suspect this has been going on for quite a while (like all school year), kids coming at her with insults while she tries to either ignore, cajole and finally shows how badly they’ve hurt her by admitting she’s been crying. I also note the kid sitting closest to her continues to touch her, thereby invading her personal space.

Unfortunately just like Jonathan Wall’s experience with intolerance and bigotry (see that blog post here) this is nothing new in America or probably worldwide in many of our “developed” nations. Some monitors and school children are routinely at the mercy of bullies who single out individuals for their own brand of “fun.” I suspect that if any of the kids making these comments ever got back what they give, they wouldn’t be able to handle it. And that’s the thing about bullies. They stay clear of other bullies because there can only be one victor. Unfortunately the story is taking a bad turn. With the video going viral the kids have been identified and now they’re getting threats. One good thing is a fund has been set up to send the bus monitor on a nice vacation, and its reportedly climbing to over $100,000 $200,000 and counting in donations.

But again I must repeat, this has probably been going on for a while, and since no one stopped it (so what was the bus driver doing? Listening to the radio the whole time?) these students felt emboldened to continue their verbal (and physical) abuse of this woman.

Here’s the thing. It was only going to get worse. The “high” these kids were feeling wouldn’t have been enough, as you should note the kid who stepped it up by flicking at her ear and tapping on parts of her body. Now, perhaps he was trying to get her to look into the cell phone camera. But his parents need to sit him down for a serious talk. Because it wasn’t so long ago that he’d face even worse than what Mrs. Karen Klein, the bus monitor was subjected to. In some places around the country he still would be.

Bullying was around during segregation. Only that’s not what they called it. Some deemed it “entertainment” and for quite a while African Americans could do nothing except grin and bear it, much like Mrs. Klein. And unfortunately bullying of an African American during segregation would escalate into either a sexual assault or a lynching.

But bullying, not matter who the recipient is needs to be challenged. Today we can all do our part to stop it.

Examples of “bullying” during segregation:

Newspaper editor Alex Wilson being attacked

 

 

 

Newspaper editor Alex Wilson being attacked by group of bigots

 

 

 

Alex Wilson’s attack continues

 

 

 

The kick seen ’round the world. Alex Wilson is attacked by mob and the world finally sees what African Americans are subjected to. Please note the brick in the man’s left hand.

 

 

 

Anti-Civil-Rights or what some back in the day would call “exercising my rights” and “freedom of speech”

 

 

 

The fight for an equal education

One of the Little Rock Nine, ignoring the jeers Little Rock Central High School in 1957. An example of female bullies

 

 

 

 

Photo by Charles Moore. Two African American women being attacked. Note the bat in the man’s hand while another man pummels a woman with his fists.

 

 

 

The Lynching of Rubin Stacy in Florida. This was “entertainment” for some bigots. Note the little girl and woman who don’t appear the least bit shocked or appalled.

 

 

 

 

A local government’s sanctioned “bullying” using law enforcement and  dogs. Photo by famous civil rights photographer, the late Charles Moore

 

 

 

The spreading of lies printed in a 1963 paper

For more examples of America’s shame and courage under fire, click here:

https://acriticalreviewofthehelp.wordpress.com/wall-of-shame-and-courage/

 

 

 

So, while Hollywood thought the scene below was “feel good” entertainment, it was also pure fantasy and imo revisionist bullshit.

 

Celia gives Minny a hug, which is supposed to make moviegoers chuckle and go “Awww”

 

 

More recently we have the Rodney King assault (RIP Rodney) as well as the Reginald Denny assault during the riots. I’ll have photos up a bit later on those. Edited to add: George Zimmerman. Yeah, I think the man has issues and “bullied” Trayvon Martin (as in targeted and then confronted) during their tragic encounter.

 

 

This post is still in development. . .

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