Many of you are familiar with 69 year-old, Karen Klein, the school bus monitor who was "bullied" earlier this month in western New York.. The video went viral and not only attracted millions of viewers but close to a million dollars. The media went crazy and Ms. Klein was making guest appearances on every broadcast and cable network world wide.
I watched that video. I even cried a bit. I was horrified that middle school age children could actually be that sick. To witness it, was even more disturbing. But then I thought, wait a minute, this is happening to children all over the world.
Every day we read about suicides or attempted suicides from kids who are bullied for months even years. The unfortunate thing is we have not witnessed it, like we have witnessed the abuse of Karen Klein. But we now know what child victims of bullying endure. This incident that happened to Klein is not isolated to just her, mind you, it is happening to millions of children. The only difference is, the sympathy for these child victims. are not as severe as they have been for Klein. Why is that? Do we not value our children and believe that when they are bullied in school it is rite of passage. That it is ok? Maybe we think, "they'll get over it." They don't get over it, and many take it through the adult life experiencing all kinds of mental health issues.
So we watch the video on every news outlet, we blog about it, we dissect it, we become overwhelmed with sadness. We can't get enough of this brutality. So we donate money, lots of it. We give her a trip to Disney World. we actually punish the bullies. Very novel idea. And the suspension is not for a mere 3 or 10 days, it is for a whole year. the students who have been suspended will be transferred to the district Reengagement Center, located in a non-school facility. Apparently the Center is an alternative education program allowing the students to complete community service and receive formal instruction related to conduct and behavior. In addition the students will be taking anti bullying classes.
Wow! So here is my question. Why aren't bullies of children being treated the same way. Why aren't we suspending them, giving them counseling and, behavior modification classes. Why aren't they taking anti bullying classes? Why are we not caring so much about the child victims?
No wonder student bullying victims are so depressed. I can see why they believe no one cares. I can see where parents of these victims are so frustrated. What will it take? A change in our society? Changing the value we put on our children? Sadly it may never change. Unless we change.