I’m sure most of us have heard about or seen the video of the bus monitor, Karen Klein, being bullied by a group of boys on the school bus. I read about it a couple of days ago and I attempted to watch the video, but only got about a minute into it before I had to turn it off. It’s really hard to watch, but if you have thick skin, here is the video…
A Toronto man (I love my fellow Canadians!) decided to set up a fundraising account to send Karen on a vacation, and when I discovered the story he had already raised nearly $100K. As I write this, the donations have reached over $600K. There is a lot of discussion about whether or not she should get that amount of money, but the person who set up the account feels that it is her money to deal with, and I agree. People sent the money to her because they wanted to help. I hope that she uses some of it to pay it forward to another person, but it really is hers to decide. Anderson Cooper from CNN did a brief interview with Karen and mentioned the money, and she doesn’t feel confident that the money is really coming to her. Hopefully when she gets it, she will share what her intentions are.
During the interview, Anderson spoke about a couple of the boys apologizing for their actions. Karen did not seem to feel the apologies were sincere, and I can’t blame her. Anderson also shared the news that Southwest Airlines was sending her and her family on a vacation.
The father of one of the bullies was also interviewed by Anderson Cooper. He says his son is now being threatened and bullied. The whole thing is very sad. Public outrage against bullying results in more bullying. I hope that the threats will stop, but also that these kids also learned their lessons and will never treat a person this way again.
I hope that these kids are banned from the bus, and that the school consequences them as well. Karen Klein and Weseley’s father both spoke about not allowing the kids to participate in sports. Personally, I think that’s an odd punishment. Team sports teach kids how to cooperate and support one another. If it were my child, I would be inclined to do the typical grounding that takes away the video games and toys, etc…but there needs to be more than that. Parents need to be creative. Get the kids to write a story about a time that they were bullied and how it made them feel. Make them take part in an anti-bullying campaign. They like to make videos…get them to make anti-bullying videos. Take them to volunteer with seniors so they can learn that they are people too. Make them cut Karen Klein’s grass or weed her garden or shovel snow (okay, if I was Karen I wouldn’t want these kids to know where I lived…so maybe that wouldn’t work).
What do you think is an appropriate punishment for the bus monitor bullies?