Yes, she’s overweight, yes she is 68, but what the hell were these middle school monsters thinking? This grandmother had worked with children as a bus driver and then a bus monitor caring for the welfare of these worse than brats. And what she received for her caring was emotional and physical abuse? Yes, I saw that thug poke and jab her on the shoulder. When she cries, they continue taunting her first and even talk about stabbing her.I won’t repeat the bullying in-depth but what struck me the most was when she takes off her glasses to wipe her eyes and they ask her if she isn’t sweating, why does her face have water? She says she is crying and even that doesn’t stop them from escalating the abuse. They can’t comprehend tears or any feelings except hate and selfishness. They are indeed students without pity! This brought me back to other kids in another school where teachers were not bullied. In the 50’s we would never have thought that in the realm of possibility or desire. We respected and feared our teachers and elders. But bullying in one form or another has always existed. Is it worse now? That might be a question for some more interested in statistics than I.
I remember being bullied in school for various reasons that make no sense. Bullying rarely does. I wasn’t fat then but I was shy and had acne. I don’t know which one of these was the impetus for the bullying but when you’re young it doesn’t matter. In one incident I remember, the teacher had to leave the classroom for a few minutes when I heard the same cruel names called out to me from some of my classmates as my mother said in her rages. I lowered my head on my desk and cried my eyes out. The kids stopped bullying me then because my bursting into tears shocked them in its intensity and they weren’t monsters like the Rochester kids were. My reaction came from a deep place of shame and sadness. I had loved school before then. It had taken me a magical place of quiet learning far away from my chaotic home life. When the teacher came back in, she asked why I was crying and when no one answered. She told me to stop being a baby. Bullying was not an issue for teachers to deal with then.
When I saw Karen Klein cry, I realized we are all vulnerable to bullying no matter what our age. If I had been on that bus, I too would have been a target of the students without pity. Maybe I would have cried too. Ido know if they had touched me, I would have called 911. I also wouldn’t have been able to ever return to that kind of work environment. Ms. Klein is a better woman than I in that. I can’t take abuse anymore of any kind anymore. I would have quit. I know this because I used to be a middle school teacher and quit when another teacher mentally abused me. I was an English teacher for students of other languages.
The students in my class came from Japan, China, Korea, The Philippines, Fiji, American Samoa and Micronesia. I even had one boy from Russia. They had to get along with each other and learn English and tolerance together. They weren’t angels but they had a spark of beauty and goodness inside of them. I miss them. . They never made me cry. Bullying comes from lack of respect. Respect is taught in the home. The monsters on the bus were not taught that. They also were not taught compassion or respect for their elders.
I am not shy anymore. I have a spark of anger when mistreated. I think that comes from being bullied at home and in school so long ago. I would rather be poor than abused. Ok, I am poor so this is a fact. Anger is not always a bad thing. I am not one for turning the other cheek. I don’t wait to be slapped more than once.
What is gratifying about the stupidity of posting such garbage on the internet is the outcome. Ms.Klein found out as I did that there are more good people in the world than bad. I want to thank the Canadian Max Sidorov , a nutritionist who started a fund for Ms. Klein to go on vacation. Well, she now has enough money to retire from being a bus monitor and target for abuse . So put a smile on your beautiful face Karen Huff Klein because you are loved.