WhiteCoat

Bullying a Bus Monitor

If you haven’t seen the video of the elderly school bus monitor being taunted and bullied by several upstate New York boys riding the bus, you should watch it. When I watched that video, my heart sank for the poor woman, but the video also made me wonder where society’s morals have gone.
While it may seem like an over-reach, I question not only the kids, but I also question how they were raised. To threaten an adult or to suggest that a family member killed oneself so that they didn’t have to see that adult any more is more than just a temporary lapse of judgment or succumbing to peer pressure. A fundamental respect for humans is something that should be taught to children from an early age, and obviously in these kids it was not.

The big question for this event is “what would you do if one of these kids was your child?” I don’t think it would be, but then again, I’m sure that these students’ parents didn’t believe their kids would do something like this, either.
Here’s what I would do:

  1. First, the school district should at a minimum prevent them from riding the bus for the coming school year. If the school has anti-bullying policies in place, those policies and the punishment must be followed. Failure to do so would be a tacit acceptance of the behavior involved.
  2. I’d make my child answer the angry and threatening calls that came to his cell phone so that he could see how his actions affected so many others. I’d protect him, but I would also want him to feel the fear that he made someone else feel. You can talk about fear until you’re blue in the face, but when you experience fear, it is difficult to forget.
  3. I would make my child create a large sign stating something to the effect that he was one of the people who bullied the elderly lady on the school bus. I would include her picture on the sign so people knew about the incident. Then I would make him walk around the malls holding it. And I’d make him walk around town with it. I would video tape people who said things to him so he never forgot how he felt when he was put into the same position into which he put the elderly school bus monitor.
  4. We would volunteer together in a retirement community or a nursing home so that he would hopefully develop empathy for the “old” people that he disdains.
  5. Then we’d have the school bus monitor over to our home for dinner so that they could discuss what happened and hopefully make amends.
  6. After a few months, I’d make him write an essay about everything that occurred and then present it to his school so that they could learn from his experiences. I’d make a video of him reading it to the class.
  7. When everything was finished, I’d make him create a video about what he did, what he went through for punishment, and what he did to try to make things right. That would go right up on YouTube with a link to the original cell phone video.

Harsh? Maybe.

What would you do?

10 Responses to “Bullying a Bus Monitor”

  1. DavidHowardOjai says:

    Yes, too harsh. I agree that there should be consequences, but they shouldn’t be punitive, much less humiliating. Amends must be made to the victim, and the children AND parents should be educated and rehabilitated. The key, however, is prevention, prevention, prevention.

    Also, who was responsible for the training and safety of the monitor on the bus? School district does not get off the hook. She should have been empowered to have zero tolerance for abuse, and someone should have stepped in way before the video went viral.

    • defendUSA says:

      David…
      You must not have children or you are naive, to put it simply. I have four children. And I do not tolerate any kind of disrespectful behavior towards adults and elders, especially. When I was younger, my father would blister my behind if I raised a hand or used my smart mouth to assail anyone.

      When I read that the father of one of the bullies said his son has suffered enough, I find it laughable. How many days and nights will the woman they bullied have to hear those words in her head and she did nothing?
      Those kids deserve every thought and action that comes their way and so do the parents for MY assumption that they were willfully ignorant to the behaviors of their children. No kid becomes a bully and stays that way unless they repeatedly get away with it, period.
      The way that the majority of educators must approach children is all about political correctness and you dare say they need to be empowered? When will the parents ever be held responsible over an educator or bus monitor for God’s sake?
      WC is right on.

  2. Jim says:

    A bully will always “apologize” to their victim for the benefit of an authority figure. They are manipulative. The only thing having the bus monitor over for dinner would do is give the bully another chance to hurt their victim.

  3. Mingle says:

    No, I don’t think it’s too harsh.

  4. response says:

    I think the research administrator who bullied out my research coordinators should cease and the research coordinators should have an opportunity to be reinstated.

  5. RSDS says:

    We should take a lesson from Singapore. All of the bullies on the bus should receive a public caning.

  6. tracy says:

    i couldn’t watch the whole video. It was just too heartbreaking. Any kind of bullying is UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!!!

  7. Mike Martel says:

    You know, I agree completely with your assessment of the kids and their behavior…

    but, I keep thinking why is this woman a bus monitor since obviously she doesn’t have any sort of aptitude for it. I wonder how many other kids on that bus had to go through bullying because that woman was sitting/cowering in her seat doing nothing. She definately didn’t have control of that bus or the kids on it. Find something else for her to do.

  8. Guiac says:

    Its difficult to teach courage. The adults I meet act like sheep and I know I said and did some mean spirited things in Middle School to go along with the crowd. The last thing anyone wants at that age is to be different.

  9. Brighid says:

    All due respect, WhiteCoat, I’m not sure you really would react that way if it had been your child. I think your reaction would be more nuanced. You would know that your child was not really like this, that his or her participation was a horrible aberration rather than a character flaw.

    People occasionally act totally out of character. That’s why, after some terrible crime has been committed, you so often see the friend, neighbor or family member telling the reporter, “I had no idea. This is not the person I knew at all.”

    Even the monitor herself said these were not bad kids.

    What they did wrong has become so public, so humiliating, that they need some form of punishment that will let them feel they have atoned and can move on with their lives, hopefully having learned a lesson in not falling victim to mob rule. It should certainly begin with a sincere apology to the victim.

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