After 20 years of teaching and an equal number covering stories as a talk radio host, I often think nothing could really surprise me. I have seen a lot of low moments in the classroom and have covered a great deal of school-related stories on talk radio, but I can’t remember a story that has disturbed me more in recent memory than what happened to school bus monitor Karen Klein.
As you have probably heard, four seventh-grade students from the Athena Middle School in Greece, New York unleashed a verbal assault on the 68-year old bus monitor that was recorded on a cell phone. The video made its way to YouTube and went viral, outraging millions of viewers around the world.
I watched the video and I was sickened by the cruelty of those depraved kids who tormented her for over ten minutes. They brought the widow to tears with their cruel taunts.
One student said, “If I stabbed you in the stomach, my knife would f****** go through like butter because it it’s all f****** lard.”
Another of the seventh-grade sociopaths said to her, “You’re so ugly, your kids should kill themselves,” a deliberate and cruel reference to the fact that one of Klein’s sons committed suicide 10 years ago.
A few days ago, the school district suspended the four punks for a full year. They got off easy. They will be transferred to the district’s “Reengagement Center,” which is the education equivalent of a white-collar, minimum security prison facility. They should have been expelled and send their parents a message: they are your problems, not ours.
Some of the parents of these sociopaths expressed shock and horror when confronted with the disturbing behavior of their kids. I’m sorry folks, but I can tell you from first-hand classroom experience that kids cannot turn off that type of behavior like a spigot. Parents either don’t care to fulfill their responsibilities to properly raise their kids…or they just don’t care.
After the horrific video went viral and Klein’s story became international news, a person went on www.indiegogo.com, a website dedicated to raising money for various causes, and started a drive to raise money to send Klein on a vacation. In just a couple of weeks, contributors exceeded the goal of $5,000 by just a little bit.
As of the time I am writing this, $676,274 has been raised. She will be able to take a vacation and retire comfortably, never having to ever worry again about enduring more bullying and abuse.
Unfortunately, the cynics and the snarks have come out to criticize the effort, questioning why this woman deserves such a large amount of money?
To which I ask them: why did she deserve to be verbally abused by those seventh-grade sociopaths to the point of tears? I saw a number of the TV and media pundits call on Ms. Klein to not accept the $676,000+ gift, yet it’s okay when the government gives money away in the form of entitlement programs?
My take on this? Americans are a generous people by nature. When there is an outrageous injustice, they want to help. Since they could not influence the outcome of the punishment given out to those four punks, they decided they could still send a message…with their generosity.
Do you think she deserves the gift, or should she decline to accept it?
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