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Patch's Poll: Does the Video of a Bullied NY Bus Monitor Surprise You?

After unsettling footage of an elderly bus monitor being bullied was posted on YouTube, donations to send the 68-year-old widow on 'a vacation of a lifetime' are nearing $500,000. Does the behavior of the students shock you, or is it the norm these days?

A YouTube video (warning: the language is laced with expletives) showing a group of New York middle schoolers taunting an elderly bus monitor was nearing 7,000,000 views on Monday after it was posted on June 19.

The kids in the video use harsh language, at one point even telling the 68-year-old widow, "You don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they don't want to be near you." 

As the YouTube hits have shot up, so too have donations in support of Karen Klein, who, throughout the whole ordeal, did not show any emotion apart from holding back a few tears.

As of Monday morning, almost 30,000 funders had donated $644,674 to an online account with the description, "Lets give her something she will never forget, a vacation of a lifetime!"

Some of the comments left on the fundraising website:

  • Norm: My contribution is my vote against bullying. A fine example of grace under pressure by Karen.
  • Benjamin: Heart goes out to you. I wish I was on that bus, I’d have put them kids in their place.
  • Lindsay: Kids can be cruel. Your story moved us in Kitchener, ON, Canada

Does this kind of taunting happen every day, or is it an isolated incident? Take our poll and tell us in the comments.

Maria Giannuzzi June 26, 2012 at 08:32 PM
You know Paul, I don't think there are many school principals or superintendents who have food, books and sneakers thrown at them (although there may be some exceptions). The bullies know that you as a bus driver as well as low-paid workers for the school district can be assaulted or harassed because there will be no consequences. If a school principal was threatened or hit with a book or other object by a student, the police would be called. There have to be consequences, real consequences, appropriate for a child, whether the person being bullied is another child, the school principal, a bus driver or bus monitor.
Marty Salvatore June 26, 2012 at 09:08 PM
I hear you, Spiff, but it just seems like a tired argument. People ALWAYS talk about the Good Ol' Days and how "these things would NEVER happen in my day." Well, Ruby Bridges happened Back Then. Matthew Shepard happened Back Then. It's hard for me to believe that things have gotten much worse. I think the REAL difference is the pervasiveness of the media. See, this would NEVER have gotten media attention if not for the kids' ability to upload it to the internet. In turn, it never would have gotten national media attention if not for the 24 hour news cycle. I call it The Face Eating Zombie Effect, if you catch my drift.
funeralsr4u June 26, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I hope ms Kline uses some of the money to by each family a paddle. It was different in my generation, if it was found that I was a participant I would have been grounded, and I would have the educated, in a safe humane way with the paddle....
sean June 27, 2012 at 01:23 AM
@Bill- I can tell you that a mere 4 years later, Class of 1986, much worse behavior went on than what that bus monitor put up with. I know my bus was so unruly that one day the bus driver literally quit mid route. He simply pulled over, got on the radio and told dispatch he had enough, walked off the bus, and we never saw him again. I guess one can only drive a bus filled with cigarette and weed smoke, while kids constantly throw the used up batteries from their walkmans at your head while screaming that you are a greasy no good spic, for so long before you snap.
Olive3 July 03, 2012 at 11:43 AM
These children are under 16. Who is responsible for what happens to them, food, clothing, shelter and their welfare? The parents. The school systems should be allowed to mandate the parents at the earliest age of problem conduct to attend classes or ride the buses, sitting next to their child. One day, two days or whatever justifies the "crime". When it effects the parent in time and money, with the backing of the schools, how long will it take for the bully to feel differently with his mother or father sitting by his side. Not so tough then. Children are who we help mold them. You can't start at 14. This is where are society has changed for the worse. Mothers or fathers should have the resources to be able to stay at home for as long as necessary (and high school kids need even more watchful guidence). Unfortunately, many can't afford to. I say bring them into the classroom and pay them a stipend for the day and you will start to see behavior of our children change.

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