Bullied Grandmother...really?

So if you haven’t seen the latest bullying outrage about the Rochester, NY grandmother that had videos of her being bullied and pestered by a group of middle schoolers posted on YouTube…well here’s the story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/a-new-york-grandmother-is-bullied-by-kids-on-bus/2012/06/21/gJQA3plssV_video.html

First, the kids behavior on the bus during these incidents was outlandish, and if my kid were one of those kids, they’d be suffering for their actions.

But as I understand it, grandma was on the schoolbus as the FUCKING BUS MONITOR!!! Wasn’t it her job to keep the civility on the bus? But she just lets these kids torment her and behave in completely innapropriate ways toward her. And this wasn’t just one incident…there are three different videos of this going on, which means it probably was going on more than just those three times.

So since she suffered from the torments of these 12 year olds, some caring peole have raised almost $200,000 to send her on the vacation of her dreams: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/21/us-usa-bullying-idUSBRE85K15C20120621

Let’s reward grandma for not doing her job. If that’s what people want to do with their money more power to them…but I don’t get it. At the very least she should be relieved of her duties, since she has shown that she can’t really perform the functions of the bus monitor.

FWIW in my job I regularly have to try to keep the peace among parties having an argument. One of the strategies I use is to have the people turn on me and refocus their energies in that way. Works really well. So long as they are focusing on me they are not fighting/stabbing/shooting each other.

I would consider trying such strategies in a bus monitor role. I, as an adult, can absorb the abuse hurled my way by some 12 year old brats. Better me than some poor kid.

Yeah, not seeing the outrage against the grandmother.

Her job is not to “keep the civility”. It’s primarily to make sure all the kids are safe. She did that part pretty well. None of the kids got bullied, at any rate. And none of them seems to have been injured. If her method of doing that was to direct their behavior towards herself, that’s her prerogative.

What makes bullying particularly cruel is when it has a kernel of truth to it. Obviously, she’s not in the best of shape, she’s elderly, and she’s probably not super well-off financially. None of these things, however, justify having salt rubbed in her wounds just to make her feel subhuman.

That being said, nothing these kids said felt out of place for middle schoolers. Middle school can be a pretty cruel place where flaws are mercilessly targeted and relentlessly hammered on.

I do take solace in the fact that asshole kids like that tend to grow up into nobodies, though.

Are bus monitors a new thing. Back when I was in school (mid-80s through mid-90s), you might have an administrative muckety-muck occasionally do a ride-along, but generally the only adult on the school bus was the driver.

Because of that, the rear of the bus would be considered prime real estate. You could get away with a lot of stuff back there - smoking, playing cards, general goofing around. Still the driver would have no qualms about pulling over or even going back to the school, if he felt the kids were getting out of line.

She obviously was the wrong person for the job, but she still didn’t deserve the treatment she got. It’s good to see the community helping her. At the same time, they’d better find someone else for the job.

Like Mitt Romney? :wink:

Jealous much, OP?

I graduated in 96, and rode the bus throughout all of school, and we never had bus monitors - so I can’t comment from experience but…

I wonder how much power these bus monitors have to actually do anything. When I was student teaching in 2000 in an elementary school, I was advised by my supervising teacher to avoid ever touching the kids in any way, even if it was to separate kids that were fighting. This was to avoid giving parents any cause to complain about a teacher using inappropriate force. (I’ve since gotten out of the teaching field.)

Not that the bus monitors should beat the kids, but I’m guessing they don’t have any kind of power (not even verbal) to keep the kids in line. The school probably figures that just having another adult on the bus would help to deter bad behavior. So the kids knew that they could pretty much get away with anything, and took it as far as they thought they could go. The monitor might have figured that if she tried to verbally reprimand the kids, it could lead to complaints against her, so she decided to just keep quiet and take it.

I can understand kids trying to get away with bad behavior, but it’s the outright cruelty that makes me sick. As a former middle-school student who was also verbally abused to the point of crying (which made my tormenters laugh even harder) I have nothing but sympathy for her.

Of what?

My dismay is that in the videos this woman is pretty much ignoring these kids behavior, as she explains that much of the time her hearing aids don’t work that well and she can’t hear what they are saying. But then sometimes she does hear them as she begins to cry, but doesn’t do anything to stop their behavior.

What is her job as the bus monitor? To just ride along? She claims that she was bullied and that these kids parents should do something…well sure, but isn’t that the bus monitors job also? What’s the school district paying her to do?

If you don’t mind a tack on debate, obviously the kids should be punished to the fullest extent they can be (which if it’s like most school districts probably means no juice on Thursday), but do you believe the parents of these kids should be punished? Or, if you had access to a list of confirmed names of the kids participating in the bullying, would you make it public?
Part of me hopes Karen Klein uses part of her $200,000 windfall to hire some middle school inner city gangs to come to Greece and kick some snarking middle school ass.

As an actual, living and breathing middle school teacher, I feel like I have a bit of expertise in this area. First of all, it is clear to me that the lady hired to be a bus monitor was ill-suited or ill-prepared for the task. There are many places in the video where, in my opinion, the misbehavior could have been corrected or redirected. What strikes me is her complete lack of engagement with the students. They were talking to her, albeit impolitely. She did not speak back to them until the situation had progressed past a point of reasonable redemption.

That said, do not excuse these kids’ behavior as simply kids being kids. Middle school is a trying time for all involved. However, middle school students can also be some of the most wonderful people around. Someone got these kids started in the wrong direction and it snowballed. I’ve seen middle school kids snowball in the right direction, too. The bus monitor may have been able to steer those kids in the right direction, had she tried.

What’s the point of having such a “bus monitor” if all they can do is sit there and do nothing but ‘absorb’ all the cruelty from the kids? :confused:

I wonder if bus monitors have any training, or if it’s just a “we need a warm body, start at 3:00 p.m.” job.

The worst comment was the one about her family killing herself to get away with her, and would imply to me that the little bitch who said it knew Klein’s son committed suicide. If she did, I would love to see that little psychopath sent to juvie for that.

It seemed like the typical cruel middle school douchebaggery until the one kid told her to “Shut the fuck up”. That would have ended it for me right there. I’d have lost the job and probably gotten sued by the snowflake’s parents but that little bastard would have learnt a hard lesson that day.

They ganged up on her like Roman senators!

She’s an IDE bus!

My parents weren’t physically abusive- I got some spankings as a kid but nothing serious.

This one I can guarantee you would have gotten me black eyes and an arm sling. They didn’t play with the disrespecting your elders/using bad language at the elderly crap, and for that I respect them. I swear I’d black my kid’s left eye before I’d let them get away with talking that way to a senior citizen who wasn’t bothering them, and if said kid claimed s/he only did it because the others did I’d black the other eye. Snickering about her behind her back, sassing her if she was mean, all that’s one thing, but this- oh hell no, choose between reform school or a cast darling, because this one will not pass.

I’m not sure why this is in Great Debates. It seems the sort of thread that routinely shows up in The BBQ Pit as an example of Recreational Outrage.

Off you go.

My heart is usually soft for stuff like this, but I agree with the sentiment about this woman being ill-prepared for this job. The jabs were cruel, but she let it escalate to that point. It would be one thing if she were hired to do something besides establish discipline–like teaching. But her sole duty was to lay the proverbial smack down on those brats, and she didn’t even try. The one article I read, it gave her salary at around $15,000. Not a lot of money, but way too much for her to be sitting on her ass staring out of the window.

I saw that one of the parents has come forward and apologized on behalf of his son. Major kudos to him. I know seeing my parents willingly take on more embarrassment because of my fuckeuppery would have killed me inside, as a kid.

Some of the families involved are already getting death threats as a few of them were on camera and were easily identified. Can’t wait to see that on their college application!

I suspect the tough 13 year olds who were picking on 68 year old grandma aren’t feeling so tough right now and are turning on their friends that weren’t on camera. One of them reportedly got 1,000 tested threats in a single day.

The entire 10 minute video is really something. Sexual comments, threatening violence, really disgusting. Mommy and Daddy should be proud!

This, plus it was the last day of school. She wasn’t exactly in the catbird seat.