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Karen Klein and the $400,000 bus ride

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Juice, Jun 22, 2012.

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  1. Juice

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    If you live in the US, youve undoubtably heard about or have seen the video of the elderly bus monitor being bullied by high school kids. If you havent here it is:



    The kids in the video take turns calling her fat and making fun of her because her son committed suicide. Yes, really.

    Since it hit, a $5000 donation goal was put up to send this woman on a nice vacation for the crap she had to endure. It has since gone viral, and over $400,000 has been raised. I hope this woman takes the money and has a nice, comfy retirement; she deserves it. And I have a ton of respect for her for not breaking down in front of these bastards and having the grace of not pressing charges against them or the school system.

    Focus: Is this a random act of cruelty or is it indicative of a larger bullying problem that still hasnt been properly addressed?

    Alt. Focus: What are your personal experiences with bullying?

    Alt. Alt. Focus: Discuss.
     
    #1 Juice, Jun 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  2. Parker

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    Story correction, it doesn't appear that they knew her son committed suicide, they joked that "You're so far and lame, your family probably would kill themselves to get away from you." It was just one of those things where they said it.

    I want these children publicly shamed. Have Jeffery Ross and Lisa L. just roast them without the "but I love you" comments. Put that on YouTube and see how they like it. Adam Carolla said something about "Oh they're teenagers, they're assholes, blah blah blah" but I never talked shit to any adults to their face. That's some shit right there.
     
  3. CharlesJohnson

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    Kids aren't meaner. They've always gone for the throat. This case is exceptionally stupid because dipshit got caught on the ubiquitous camera and did it to a superior. I use the term superior loosely. Cocky little retard thought he'd get away with it too.

    Is it a problem? Subjective. I think the main problem is zero tolerance. School authorities have stripped a kid of his resources when confronting a bully. Bully doesn't give a shit if he's suspended/reprimanded. The kid he picks on generally does. Also, that "gang up on anyone, back up my boy" mentality has gotten a lot more prevalent in my opinion. It's not just one asshole fucking with you, it's all of his friends chest puffing behind him too. Cowardly little shits, the lot.

    Alt alt alt: Can I do some victim blaming? What in hell is that corpse doing on a bus full of teens? She can't control them, they don't respect her, what the fuck do you think is going to happen? Get off the bus, lady. And because you were verbally abused people with very guilty consciences suddenly feel you're entitled to a half million dollar windfall? I guarantee there was at least one kid, probably more, on that very same bus that was headed home where he had no idea where his dinner would come from, if he had a place to sleep, or if he was going to get the shit kicked out of him. Or all of the above.

    Don't get me wrong, the kid that verbally assaulted the woman should be reprimanded and is well deserving of a good public shaming. Make him do some degrading community service. But donating half a million f'n dollars to this woman? That doesn't sit right. Not my money, whatever, but seems excessive for hurting someone's feelings. Especially with a bunch of those kids in that school in desperate need of the basics.
     
  4. Misanthropic

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    I'm not sure what to say that wouldn't be obvious - these kids are complete assholes who desperately need the everliving shit beaten out of them. Although I'd prefer it be by their peers or their parents. Apparently the names of the four kids are available publicly and they are all getting death threats. Despite how much they all disgust me, vigilante justice isn't going help the situation.

    Alt focus: I had run-ins with a few different guys during high school. One guy tried to take my glove during softball in gym class, telling me that he could make better use of it than I could. That episode ended quickly after I lost my shit and starting yelling at him.

    The other two guys, however, persisted over a longer period of time, and were handled in two completely different ways.

    The first guy, Dave, would get on my case for the attention, and, ironically, because he wanted to get into my circle of friends. This went on for a couple of months, until I finally told him, again during gym (testosterone, anyone?), that we should fight right then and there. He could have kicked my ass, but backed off because he was already in enough hot water at school, and he would likely have been suspended. The bullying ended that day.

    The second guy, Steve, was a different story. He was big and he was mean. He bullied everyone smaller than him, not just me. If I had pulled the same "let's fight" move I pulled on Dave, he would have dropped me right there without even thinking twice about it. I therefore employed evasive maneuvers whenever possible, and just ignored him if I couldn't, and I got through high school in one piece.

    I ran into both of these guys after high school. Dave acted like I was long lost friend and Steve came right out and said "I wasn't a very nice guy in high school, but I've changed a lot. And you've gotten much bigger."
     
  5. JWags

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    Seriously, kids are the fucking worst. From about 7th grade-sophomore year of HS, just a terrible age.
     
  6. shegirl

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    This is fucking horrible. I can only hope to be half the woman that she is. The way she handled it is nothing short of amazing. And, its things like this that cement why I'll never breed. Yes some say, "But who's to say they'd turn out like that?" That may be so but, what if they did? I think we have an overabundance of self entitled little pricks and frankly, after watching the cruelty these kids spewed, it makes me sick to my stomach.

    I fear for our future.
     
  7. Jimmy James

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    Focus: People have always been cruel to people that are different from them. It's only in this age of people having camera phones and YouTube that have made it more visible. As long as people are wired the way they are, there is always going to be bullying of some degree. I don't think it'll change either, simply because an asswhipping that would have fixed the problem will now get your ass sued or thrown in jail.

    Alt. Focus: I was constantly messed at school because I was either too fat, too Caucasian (went to school in Hawaii where it's 75% minority), too Asian (this time in Washington state just vice versa), or because I wore glasses. Add that with a risk-averse childhood (way to scare me into being good, Dad) and I may as well been wearing a sign. It only stopped when I basically snapped and basically broke my hand on a kid's face. Insert Watchoutwegotabadassoverhere.jpg.

    Alt. Alt. Focus: Fuck those kids. The end.
     
  8. shimmered

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    Bullying has always happened, and will always happen. It's how kids determine the 'pecking order' of their lives. As we become adults, it becomes obvious who is in charge, usually through our employment ladder. School = job. Same difference. It's where we spend the bulk of our time.


    THAT said.

    I think that the inherent maliciousness of bullying has gotten worse through the years. It used to be fat jokes (some decidedly cruel), body odor jokes, physical contact, taking belongings, being stuffed in lockers, things like that. When I was a kid I was horribly bullied, and would beg my mother - tears and all - NOT to have to go to school...but nothing that I endured was as vicious as those kids on the video.


    Regarding those kids -It may be too late to teach them the compassion and conscience they need in life. I wouldn't begin to speculate that their apologies are sincere, because I don't believe they are.* I can't imagine they'll never really be nice people..but...they're young who knows.





    *I don't believe an apology is possible for actions taken intentionally. If I bump into you, I certainly owe you an apology, because I was being careless and perhaps caused you some inconvenience. If, however, I stomp on your foot...I can't apologize for that. I did it on purpose.
     
  9. shabamon

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    That's the power of the internet and going viral. It's completely conceivable for 40,000 people to throw $10 a piece at the donation, link it on their facebooks and twitter handles, and then go about their day. It doesn't make it wrong, but judging by the "fuck those kids" reaction from the free thinking people on this board, a lot of the public were easily swayed to action.
     
  10. Pussy Galore

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    I don't think it's either. As several people have pointed out, bullying has been around forever. Though I have no empirical data to make a conclusion either way, I think that it exists in a similar plane that it always has; the difference nowadays is that, due to increased touchy-feeliness, zero tolerance, et cetera, we hear about bullying more. Children [or people in general] don't stand up for themselves or fight back in the same medium they're being attacked with because (a) it's seen as "brutish" and "unevolved" in a modern society and (b) they face suspension, expulsion, or legal liability for doing so.

    Random acts of cruelty or general bullying aren't on the rise; the softening of society is.

    From what I remember, I was never bullied, or at least not to a point that it was memorable. My younger sister was, though, after she developed epilepsy in fourth or fifth grade. I've never felt such rage towards people than when I've heard how they've tried to take some sick advantage of my sister's weaknesses. When she was in eighth grade, a boy in our neighborhood took her backpack on the bus. I drove her to the bus stop at the top of the street the next morning, walked up to the boy she pointed out, and explained that if he ever bothered my sister again, I'd shatter his shins with a bat. I know it left me open to litigation (especially considering the five year age difference and commensurate size difference), but he never bothered her again. It doesn't work the same now that she hangs out with people a generation my senior.

    I was with you on this part until your explanation of why you don't believe the apologies were sincere. Sometimes the outcomes of actions are regrettable, yeah? I get caught up in the anger of the moment and do something that seems okay then, or that I don't care about the appropriateness of and then realize later wasn't okay. Obviously, what's done is done, and it was done on purpose. But once everything is calm[er] again, I sometimes feel bad about it. Or, even if I don't feel bad about the action itself because I feel the situation warranted it, I feel bad about the effect it had on the person it was against. One of the other board members and I are very close friends, and her feelings get hurt much more easily than mine. A lot of the time, I don't understand why something I've said or done [on purpose] has upset her, but I genuinely feel bad that it has.

    To sum it up: I'm not saying that these kids were sincere in their apologies. I'm sure their parents coerced them into it as parents often do when there's a conflict involving their spawn. But to suggest that they aren't sincere purely because what they did was done on purpose seems ludicrous to me. Human emotion is a little more nuanced than that.
     
  11. R_Flagg

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    Focus: Humans are animals, and no matter what species a certain percentage of the young are going to be aggressive in some form or another. It doesn't matter if you're running around the woods eating berries and squirrel turds or riding a school bus.

    It's normal behavior that's gone unchecked due to political and cultural factors. At one time these kids would have been considered adults and thus got the shit kicked out of them for speaking to an elder this way. But between schools no longer using corporal punishment and the age of adulthood/responsibility for ones actions, being arbitrarily raised from the early teens to eighteen that's no longer the case. I think instead of shaming the individuals in question, the bus driver or even the old woman herself, should have smacked them and threw them off the bus.

    Alt-Focus: I dealt with a certain amount of bullying til about my junior year in high school. I was a loner, skinny as a rail, with a speech impediment so I was a fairly easy target. It was pretty rough til about the sixth grade, when I finally had enough shit from one kid who made a habit of harassing me as our gym classes passed in the hall. I snapped, threw a punch and got my ass kicked for it. I landed a few good hits, which made up for the week-long suspension that little stunt earned me.

    That slowed it down, and it eventually died off completely when I started going through this goth phase that involved me wearing a trench-coat to school most days, and taking boxing classes at a local gym.
     
  12. shimmered

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    This is different though.

    There's zero possibility that those kids were doing anything but trying to inflict pain. They were intentionally saying the cruelest things they could think of, and attempting to elicit a reaction from the bus monitor. Their actions, their words, the level of hurt they were attempting to create was 100% intentional with full knowledge of the outcome.

    I understand your point otherwise, though, and amend my original statement to say that no malicious action can be apologized for.
     
  13. KIMaster

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    Focus-

    What this is indicative of is that we desperately need corporal punishment. If this old woman could beat those kids, we wouldn't have this situation. (And if the kids' parents had beaten them, they would also behave) Also, weren't these kids physically poking her with their fingers, too? Even then, the idiotic laws didn't allow her to do a damn thing.

    If that woman could give those kids just a few whacks on the arms, the whole situation would be avoided. Kids have always been mean and vicious, that's nothing new. What is new, at least in the absolutely insane land known as the modern United States, is that adults can't hit them without a lawsuit.
     
  14. effinshenanigans

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    Came across this a couple days ago.

    It goes along with what Shimmered was saying before about how the maliciousness of bullying has escalated. We live in a world where ridicule is common, if not celebrated in many instances. It doesn't excuse what these kids did in any way, but it does speak to how things have changed.

    Now, I live in that world, and I would never do what these kids did to that woman--because my parents would've destroyed me, and rightfully so. But more than that, they raised me in such a way that I wouldn't do that anyway, and not just out of the fear of their wrath. It doesn't seem like these kids have either of those attitudes. Clearly they're not afraid of any consequences, and clearly they weren't raised to know that degrading an old woman for the sake of it is a horrible thing to do.

    The kids are old enough to know that what they did was wrong, and definitely cruel enough to do it anyway, so the blame lies with them. But at some level, their parents need to be accountable for some of this as well.
     
  15. Aetius

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    In general I find that the people who say "Oh back when we were kids it was just harmless fun, but kids these days are out of control," say that because they were the bullies.

    In any event, our society has had an empathy gap for a long long time, and we really aren't doing anything to fix it.
     
  16. Durbanite

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    Wow. As I type this, I've seen about a minute and a half of this video and I'm shocked.

    FOCUS: Bullying is still a huge problem and will not be properly addressed for some time, due to the "softening of society" that Ms. Galore mentioned. If anything, I think the authorities would rather try to sweep bullying like this under the rug because they know that, without some form of corporal punishment, there is no real deterrent for it. I've spoilered this next part because I have extreme opinions on bullying, since I was the subject of bullying for over a decade at various schools.

    Bullying is, as far as I am concerned, a malicious criminal act that should not happen and is unnecessary and, as such, there should be amendments to the law/s applicable that should class bullying as a separate offence. Those kids should have to go through a full criminal trial, with the Press having a field day with their lives, and then the proceedings should NOT be sealed as a juvenile record but rather made completely public and be a permanent criminal record for them. Kids nowadays seem to not understand that there are consequences for their actions.

    ALT. FOCUS: For me, it was more a case of who wasn't bullying me at school. I endured ten years' worth, coming from all angles, including teachers. There were so many incidents - some to cause physical injury, some mental injury. I'll recap on some of them in a general and not specific way (mostly because ten to fifteen years have passed). Some things you will have to note are that we all wore uniforms at school and had our names on our school-issued bags (which were not water-resistant) and other items. Kids are very quick to cotton on when the establishment does nothing for the victims of bullying, and they become the easiest targets.

    - My bag once was put up a tree without anyone noticing, just out of reach for me, as I had (stupidly) left my bag unattended in order to use the bathroom facilities, which had just been washed out, so wet floors. Six or seven other guys from my year were standing around said tree laughing their asses off. None would own up as to who had done it. I then had to climb the tree to retrieve my bag - I fell off the tree at least three times due to my poor balance (I guess that would be funny for everyone else). I eventually got far enough up the tree to get to my bag, was seen by a teacher, and earned an afternoon's detention for "defacing school property". My parents were contacted and I got shouted at by them (as usual), who, of course, blamed me for needing to take a piss and not getting my books wet in piss-soaked bathroom-floor-water (I'd have probably been shouted at for that, too).

    - I was routinely called horrible names due to my weight and asthma and inability to fight back and lack of athletic prowess or ability. When I did try to fight back, I'd catch a beat-down, and the cycle would continue. One particular incident happened one day in grade 11 (I think that'd be Junior Year or equivalent for you Americans) started extra-hard on me, I said something back, he challenged me to a fight and knocked me down with one punch (he had three inches on me and was pretty muscular) and then gave me a good kick in the ribs for good measure for trying to stand up for myself. It didn't help that I had no real muscle development or physical power.

    - I'd pretty routinely get punched or roughed up by the rugby players and prefects in my earlier years at that school, and then by my peers later on an almost daily basis. Everyone in the junior years (grade 8 and 9) was basically the prefects' bitches but they all took a particular liking to me, mostly, again, due to lack of sports-playing. The prefects had authority bestowed upon them by the Headmaster, so even if you said something against any of them, you'd just get punished for it and/or receive an ass-kicking from the prefects for getting them into trouble.

    - I got pushed down flights of stairs at least twice a month, most often by "accident" - I was an easy target due to poor balance and a gentle shove would come from behind and I'd be rolling down the stairs like a wrecking ball. At least I never broke any bones.

    - Nasty things were often said about my parents, mainly to just get at me. Whenever I tried to defend them, beat-down-time.

    - One guy tried to stab me in my first year in high school (grade 8). I've posted about that one here before.

    I think there were maybe ten days in twelve years at school that I wasn't sporting a new bruise or cut. At one point, in Grade 10, I gave up on life and just tried to ignore everything and everyone around me and continually wished for death in my sleep. Of course, that didn't happen. It's very difficult when everyone in every class gangs up on you, almost continuously. I'm surprised I haven't ended up in a sanitarium yet. I do now have a healthy dislike and mistrust of people, though.
     
  17. Winterbike

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    Alt. Focus: What are your personal experiences with bullying?

    I've had the occasion to see it from a teacher's perspective. One thing that's greatly underestimated is the lack of social abilities of the victims (maybe not the ''well I was pushed in the corridor this one time in 7th grade'' victims, but the ones who suffer from chronic bullying definitely). The way they act triggers something inside of you, something instinctual, that makes you want to ignore them. Even as a rational, empathic adult, it's surprising how much you're affected by it. They say a few sentences, and deep down, you just feel like you don't like them and want them to shut up. It's pretty disturbing to feel. I'm sure some teachers don't even bother acknowledging it and will treat the kids the way they feel like treating them (as badly as the bullies sometimes), not as they should treat them (as a trusted, loving, impartial, and caring human being).

    Some kids lacked normal social interactions for so long they either crave for it and act in a way that gets them attention of any kind, because it's better than being completely ignored, or they learned that they just get punished for wanting to interact with others and just completely shut themselves down, and their overall posture and actions simply start to say ''go ahead, I won't even bother defending myself''.

    The consequences to the bullies have been talked about plenty, but I think they're just part of the solution. Schools should implement a system for the victims to get counseling on how to solve their issues, act with others, how to make friends and how to gain self-confidence. Is it doable everywhere in the near future? I don't think so, but some resources can be allowed locally and it could add up over time.

    Bullying is definitely a big problem in the school system, and even if I can't do more, I want to at least make sure it won't EVER happen in my classes without severe punishment.
     
  18. Dcc001

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    I can remember being bullied by two separate people. Both slightly older girls, and oddly enough both lived on the same block I did (the school had hundreds of students and I lived in the sticks, so it's a funny coincidence.)

    Part of the problem, I think, is the tendency of adults to deny the problem or dismiss the complaints of the bullied child. The other part of the problem is adults not supporting the kid and robbing them of their ability to defend themselves.

    Kids are immature, and I mean that literally. Their senses of compassion, fair play and empathy are not developed. They relate on a more viceral level than adults typically do (one would hope). When you tell a bullied child not to fight back, to tattle to the teacher, to ignore the problem, etc. you run the risk of asking that child to operate on a cognative level they haven't yet developed, thus removing their ability to defend themselves.

    My father's advice to me was to walk up to the girl, take her by the throat, and punch her as hard as I could. He explained that all bullies were cowards, and that if I showed them that I wouldn't take any shit, they would skulk away. He also followed that up with, "If the school has a problem, tell them to call me."

    Is that the right response in any situation? Probably not. Personally, I can attest that he was right. After I slapped the one girl I don't remember having a problem with either of them again. The point is, I felt I could turn to the adults in my life with my fears. I also felt like I had their support no matter what, and ultimately I felt like I was capable of defending myself, due to my father's direction. This self-confidence translated into some sort of subconscious vibe, because after that - despite multiple moves and new schools - I was never bothered again.

    Now, as for the bullies. Those kids are a bit older, but I'd be willing to bet that the entire incident was the result of one or two ringleaders starting it, and then group mentality taking over. Those ringleaders? Probably they see that behaviour at home. Kids don't get that way in a vacuum, and relying "on the parents" to correct their behaviour is probably moot, because probably the parents are just as fucked up.
     
  19. Chirpy

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    I hate to say it but I totally agree. At this point in time, we have regulated what people in authority can't do to the point that we've actually stripped them of all authority. I mean, really, what was she going to do about it? What's her course of action? The protocol would be to report the kids for disrespect, they'd get a detention or suspension, and the next week be back on the bus. The tables are completely flipped with parents and students having all the power and control and educators and the like are on the constant defensive. Really, her hands were tied.

    The problem is that these days consequences are a joke. Suspensions, whether in school or home bound, do not work. Most families have both parents working, if both parents are even together. Who is home to watch the kid and give some kind of punishment? I'm not sure a whack with a ruler would do the trick like it did in the days of spinsters and nuns as teachers but I do believe that severe consequences where the kids (AND PARENTS) are inconvenienced certainly helps. I always asked my principals to give an in-school suspension and a punishment to be named later. At least during in-school suspension the student would be required to be working and in a learning environment and then had the looming knowledge that something else was coming. I'd wait for "treat days" like holiday parties, assemblies, field days, field trips and BANG...fuck you, kid, you're spending the day with the 70 year old librarian moving books, cleaning, and missing out on fun.

    Not 100% on topic, but one of my friends sent me this cartoon and I think it illustrates my earlier point as to who is really in control:
     

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  20. Aetius

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    Do we have to have the corporal punishment debate again? It creates the exact negative outcomes you people are complaining about. The odds that these particular little shits were punished physically is higher than the odds that their non-abusive peers were.
     
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