Epic Win/Fail: Bullied Bus Monitor Sparks Overwhelming Support, But Also Death Threats To Kids

from the best-of-the-internet,-worst-of-the-internet dept

A few years ago, I noted the seeming irony in the fact that there appeared to be a decent amount of overlap between groups of people doing amazing altruistic things on sites like Reddit, while also doing amazingly troll-tastic things in places like /b/. Groups getting together to “do something” are a powerful force, and often are a powerful force for good. But they can also get out of hand, and turn into questionable mob-like vigilante-ism. However, it’s not often that you see both such forces come together in the same story. However, that appears to be the case with the amazing story concerning upstate NY school bus monitor, Karen Klein. If you’ve been buried under a rock somewhere, Klein, a 68-year-old grandmother, has a low-paying job as a school bus monitor for a middle school in upstate NY (Greece, near Rochester). Middle school kids can be incredibly cruel, and a group of kids spent a bus ride mercilessly mocking Klein and filming the interaction. Someone else saw the video being passed around on Facebook and posted it to YouTube, where it quickly racked up millions of views, with tons of downvotes. The video is heart-wrenching for the cruelty from the boys in question. Just horrifying:

It also appears this was not a one-incident either. There are at least two other such videos.

However, in response to this, someone set up an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for Karen to go on vacation. And, wow, did the internet ever come through in a massive outpouring of altruism, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars in a day. As of this writing, it’s already around half a million and there’s still nearly a month to go. That’s going to be quite a vacation.

Cue tons of great stories about how wonderful the internet can be.

But… then there’s the flipside of it. The part where tons of people on the internet who find out about this story then barrage the school, the kids and anyone they think is related to this with nasty calls and emails including death threats:

The names of some of the alleged perpetrators — all juveniles who have yet to be charged with any crimes — and their parents and details about where they live ended up online. And since Wednesday, they’ve been barraged by death threats and harassing phone calls.

Greece police Capt. Steve Chatterton said Thursday that someone even made a false 911 call claiming there were people being held hostage inside one of the students’ homes. He said officers have been assigned to run special patrols down the youths’ streets to ensure their safety.

“We have a cellphone of one of the boys and he’s received more than 1,000 missed calls and more than 1,000 text messages threatening him,” he said. “Threats to overcome threats do no good.”

Karen herself has come out to say:

“This is going too far,” she said. “This is no better than the kids who did that on the bus.”

Exactly. If you’re so upset by people acting totally obnoxiously to someone, there are a lot better ways to express yourself than to call them with a death threat.

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Comments on “Epic Win/Fail: Bullied Bus Monitor Sparks Overwhelming Support, But Also Death Threats To Kids”

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weneedhelp (profile) says:


Maybe if these assholes are having to constantly look over their shoulder they will think twice before picking on an elderly woman again.

And to the parents that raised these disrespectful pieces of shit, its a wake up call that little Jimmy & Jane need more of something they are not providing. Possibly a swift kick in the ass.

Young children and the elderly are off limits.

jupiterkansas (profile) says:

On a related note, I just visited several news sites to get more information on this. Most of them just repeated the same Associated Press article. Only a handful actually linked to or embedded the video. None of them linked to the Indigogo campaign. Most of them just offered a few still photos.

Yet here are TechDirt there are links galore.

No wonder the news business is in trouble? They keep ignoring that the internet exists even when they’re reporting on it.

Greevar (profile) says:


I was never so cruel to anyone at that age, I know better. Those kids have no moral compass. Everyone of them should get solitary in-school suspension for a month, the parents should receive a letter, and be shown the videos of the incidents. I feel very bad for Karen and I feel even more sorry for those kids who think it’s fine to treat others like that, because they are going to find out the hard way that people in the real world won’t sit there and take it without retaliating. At least one of them will get a bloody nose or worse.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:


they are going to find out the hard way that people in the real world won’t sit there and take it without retaliating. At least one of them will get a bloody nose or worse.

Indeed, they might even find out that sometimes a psychological beating is worse than a physical beating, even if the psychological beating is just the threat of a physical beating. I bet they’re wishing they’d gotten off with a simple bloody nose instead.

Anonymous Cowered says:

Re: Unbelievable.

*who* would perform the nose bloodying?
that person would be convicted of assault.

funny that a few techdirt clicks land me here from a techdirt opinion critical of a ny proposed cyber-bulllying bill. much of the bill overreached, but one of its intents was to reduce “intimidation”. intimidation is not just ‘speech’.

in this case of the school bus chaperone: she’s an adult, and what *adult* gives a flip when a few 10 year old ‘tards’ gab about adults? when at home, the brats probably imitate Rush Limbaugh or what’s his name Hannity.

John Doe says:

Wow, just wow

I know kids were mean to other kids in my day but they would never had thought of doing something like this to an adult. We had a healthy respect for anyone older. We felt like they could and would beat our asses if we acted up. No, this was not abuse because nobody ever did that. But just the idea they could was enough to ensure proper treatment. Today, we have created a generation of untouchables. They will even call the police on their own family for taking away their cell phone/computer/internet/etc. What will they be like as adults?

khory (profile) says:


They probably had consequences at home when their parents found out.

Wiser parenting? Maybe, maybe not. The thing about kids is that they are their own people and sometimes despite being taught better, they sometimes make poor choices and do stupid things. This is especially true during the middle school/high school ages when they think they know better than everyone else.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Death threats and the 911 call probably go to far, but how much of that comes from the rage of seeing there was more than 1 video of these kids doing this.

To many times we hear about things are going to change and be different after something like this is in the media, and then nothing happens.

Doxing the parents and kids so soon was most likely a bad thing, should have waited to see if anything was going to happen. Of course the school won’t say anything citing student privacy laws, and the police will not comment because they are minors.

I think those kids right now fully understand what it is like to be on the receiving end of being tormented by people who think your crap.

There might be some truth to the picked on internet nerd stereotype, but the internet emboldens them to take action and they might be overreacting to make up for every person who ever treated them like crap as well.

It might be time to take your kids cellphone and computer away until you go through everything on them and find out how evil they actually are. This isn’t boys will be boys, this is kids taking on an adult they think is weak and powerless… funny I bet they feel that way themselves right now.

Watching this video did anyone else get a chill and imagine them forcing and old lady into an alley and doing the same thing with a much worse ending? That could be a motivating factor, we’ve seen this behavior before and we know where it leads.

snow1985man says:

Jason McElwain's School District

This is the same school district that brought us YouTube superstar Jason McElwain, the autistic student who scored twenty points in the closing minutes of a high school basketball game and for it won ESPY Award in the “Best Sports Moment.”

Note: Greece Athena HS had that game won already, hence McElwain’s entrance, and letting a kid, autistic or not, dump in six treys is called in my book “running up the score.”

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m slightly annoyed by the portrayal of reddit and /b/ in this article. According to this article reddit does “amazing altruistic things” while /b/ only does “amazingly troll-tastic things”. Talk about an overgeneralization. They are both large community driven websites with users who run the gamut from kind caring individuals to vicious nasty trolls. To use this false good evil dichotomy is both silly and a poor reporting job on Mike’s part.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:


and a venn diagram might show some overlap between those 2 places.
/b/ found the woman who binned the cat as I remember, that didn’t seem trolly.
reddit had that panic that some of their trolls might have encouraged someone to commit suicide, doesn’t seem kind and giving.

but then no one judges me on my avatar alone… nope nope nope…

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Excellent point

I have to agree with you jupiterkansas, the newz that I get here is never a copy of another article (other than quotes), and there are links to related articles or sources.

AND as a bonus, the community often adds even more related material in the comments.

btw I’m listening to the video while typing this and I seriously cannot believe that middle school kids would behave like this with an adult. I’m not so sure that taking corporal punishment out of the school system was a good idea.

Donnicton says:


The crap they watch on TV doesn’t help the situation either.

This may be my inner old man talking about the good old days, but it seems to me that things such as Disney channel nowadays are becoming more and more about portraying the children as the masterminds behind schemes and the parents and grown-ups as the bumbling idiots that the kids are always “putting one over on” with every episode. It’s just teaching kids to have no respect for their “stupid” parents and grownups and makes the little monsters think they’re smarter than they really are.

Cartoon Network isn’t much better, with easy-access programs like “Chowder” teaching kids to lie, cheat, steal and be gluttonous.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Wow, just wow

Introducing the time-out generation. No fear, no respect. Its what happens when you let police take a parent away for smacking a punk kid in the mouth when they deserve it. Mine was 13 maybe 14 I said something really disrespectful to my Mom and out of nowhere my Dad punched me square in the jaw with a closed fist. First and last time he ever hit me like that. First and last time I disrespected my Mom.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Out of Control

And what is the job of a bus monitor, and what rights does she have to tell parents their children are little monsters?

This. I have a relative that is a bus driver for a school district, and they are told that their job is to drive the bus. If anything interferes with that job, they are only to pull the bus over and contact the police department. Anything disciplinary is handled by the school’s administration. They merely report the incident to the school and the school takes care of it. I suspect monitors do the same. In this day and age, to do anything else will likely land them, and the school district, in a lawsuit that removes them from their job and the money from their wallets. Thank the lawyers for that.

Just take a similar case here: Kid spits from a school bus, spittle lands on head of driver and daughter, mother says battery charge on kid is wrong. The details have yet to come out, but the story sounds really suspicious from the mother/kid’s point, he didn’t like gum so he spit it out the window. He had previously said to police, and others had confirmed it, that he was spitting at cars. The mother of the angel says the cops should be out getting the bad guys and leave her kid alone.

Most parents would discipline the hell out of their kids…if I was there, my father would kill me, if my mother didn’t first. But in this day-and-age, some parents just want to be friends of their children and will let the kids get away with anything.

Gwiz (profile) says:


I don’t about the parents, but ABC News is reporting that the school district is considering suspending the kids for an entire year:

Sources tell ABC News the Greece School Board is considering suspending the boys for the entire school year next year since the incident happened on the last day of school. A decision is expected to come down sometime next week after a meeting with the Superintendent.


LDoBe (profile) says:

Out of Control

The problem is, a bus monitor really has no authority. Middle Schoolers know that adults can’t retaliate when they are fucked with. What was she supposed to do? Anything positive she could have said would have been thrown back in her face. Anything negative she said would have been construed as verbal/emotional abuse, and while it might have worked and been the best thing for these little assholes, it would have gotten her fired…

“Oh I’m fat am I? Well guess what: you’re dad’s an alcoholic and going to die of liver cirrhosis. And it’s your fault too, because you drive him to drinking you little shit.” Or something like that.

A bus monitor is nothing to kids. Middle Schoolers are insolent and know that they can do or say anything they want with no immediate consequence, and they love to take advantage of that. It’s lord of the flies.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Oh but 2 of them apologized, its all better now…

“I feel really bad about what I did,” Wesley, one of the boys in the video, said in a statement issued to the show by police. “I wish I had never done those things. If that had happened to someone in my family, like my mother or grandmother, I would be really mad at the people who did that to them.”

“I am so sorry for the way I treated you,” Josh, another one of the boys, said in a statement. “When I saw the video I was disgusted and could not believe I did that. I am sorry for being so mean and I will never treat anyone this way again.”


They mocked her about her son to took his own life…
I’m so sure they are sorry… /sarc

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Wow, just wow

I thought this comment was just one of those “in my day” kind of things. Now that I watch this video, it’s not. This was bad. The worst bullies would never have gone this far at my school.

The kids aren’t even good at insulting. Swearing left and right and repeating the same poor insult over and over again. These kids give a bad name to bullies.

This stepped well over the line of bullying into harassment and should be treated as such (by the police, not a flash mob).

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Wow, just wow

I would argue against what you’re suggesting here. My aunt punishes with time outs and would never raise her hand to her children. Those kids are the most well behaved I have ever seen. My uncle is the same with his kids, and they don’t have problems. My sister is the same with her son, and while he’s still a brat, he’s relatively well behaved.

Anonymous Coward says:

Out of Control

” I personally think that this lady should have been doing her job. “

By doing what, exactly ?
She could tell them to stop. How effective would that have been ?

If she yells at them, she and school get sued by parents who’s precious little tykes would NEVER do such a thing.

Should he have physically tried to make them stop ?
How would that not end in a lawsuit ?

There really isn’t anything she COULD do but sit there and take it, which she did, and did a better job than I could have.
I wish her all the best and ENJOY that money. She earned it, deserves it.

Tell me what YOU think she could have done ?

TtfnJohn (profile) says:


True as that may be, I remember much the same when I was growing up in the 1950s except that both the kids and adults in the cartoons were Disnified cute little animals. Warner Bro’s stable (Bugs Bunny) did the same though not as “nicely”. There were lots of other examples on 1950’s and early 1960’s TV.

Though I’m hard pressed to think of death threats as the near ultimate example of bullying. Y’Know, the solve everything from the barrel of a gun.

As for the kids themselves, if their upbringing can’t overcome a tv series there’s something very wrong here and it’s certainly not the tv show.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Wow, just wow

“I would argue against what you’re suggesting here.” – I wasnt really suggesting anything just mentioning a trend I noticed within my family, and friends/neighbors around me. The kids that dont get hit are the ones who are bratty, disrespectful little a-holes.

If it worked for your aunt and uncle then that’s great. They are on the correct path to raising respectful decent young adults.

“My sister is the same with her son, and while he’s still a brat, he’s relatively well behaved.” – Um brat and relatively well behaved? Bouts of brattyness(I know I just made up a word grammar Nazis go away)are to be expected up until a certain age. By 6 or 7 though that shit needs to be squashed. Especially if it involves downright disrespect. No amount of time out at that point, IMHO, will correct that behavior.

Chronno, its time for me to be done work and go home to my little girl. You have a great weekend now. I am going to forget all this IP government corruption crap and have fun. I hope you can do the same. 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Out of Control

Calling the police might be an overreaction but, it seems that, other than calling the police, schools have very little (legal) authority to address misbehaving children.

Can’t touch them, you’re not trained and raising hands on them could result in legal problems. Police have the training that gives them the necessary authority but calling them is often seen as an overreaction, what, the school can’t handle a bunch of childish temper tantrums without needing the police? What kinda school is this? and if they call the parents how long will it take their parents to get there and do something meaningful?

Tim says:


And with that, I think we have an indication of the problem.

Children, especially boys, need strong authority figures. When a father talks to his son, breathless and weepy, about how “he couldn’t believe he would do something like this”, instead of responding strongly, sternly and with undoubted authority, the kids learn that dad is a weakling and can be taken advantage of.

I bet that father’s kid still has his cell phone and computer, and only had is iPad and XBox privileges taken away.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wow, just wow

American Indians never beat their children and they created strong caring people among themselves.

There is more than one way to “squash” undesirable behavior, timeout is one, making the kid endure what he inflicted is another but it needs to be told before hand what it is for, lack of respect is a powerful thing as is ego and here goes an example, how intelligent are you if you cannot even beat 10 years old at their own game?

See there, that is a taunt and that would push some to find some ways to annoy the little brats in some form or another, when you take physical violence out of the equation you just get to find other ways to deal with it and there are many, this is not something novel it has been done before for centuries in other cultures.

The reason I am against physical contact for this is because of balance, the kids were able to humiliate someone using only words and so their punishment should be given in that same manner, you don’t escalate things, some of them will break under the pressure and will try physical violence against someone at that point they should be met with a physical barrier that would remind them that escalating is not the proper response.

Make those kids walk on the shoes of their victim so they understand clearly why they shouldn’t do that to another person, humiliate them so they understand why it is so horrible to do it to others.

Gunntherd (profile) says:

I have struggled watching this a couple times……what I see is my my Grandmother, sitting there taking shit from kids and not once did anybody come to her rescue. The parents are totally to blame here and I don’t want to hear any bullshit sympathy crap on why your kid acts like this. I raised two kids by myself and God forbid they ever disrespect someone they wouldn’t be here today. Just imagine if something like this happened to one of your “older” family member, dam straight someone will have to bare the wrath, whether it be death threats or a dam beat down, what happened to this woman, who has worked to insure the safety of said kids, for crap MONEY, gets treated like a pile of shit, is a wake up call to parents everywhere. No matter how many of these “kids” were involved, you will never get any sympathy from me. As far as the money raised, thank God the community is backing her and hell yes she should get enough to retire from having to give a dam about kids anymore.

Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile) says:

Jason McElwain's School District

That was epic nice video. (whatever your negative slant was)
thx… balances out all mad shit you see online.
Bit like the donation page for this story.
Seen it at $45,000 … now its $500,000 and growing.
Another epic nice outcome.

Much better than the “fabricated to give a shit” Inman story.

BitterOldMan (profile) says:


I remember the days when my best friend’s parents were Mr. Blake and Mrs. Blake. Not so anymore. It’s now first names only. Had I done something such as this, my punishment would have humbled me. Today, that punishment would result in a visit from Child Services, followed by a visit from the police, both based on a call from my child themselves. Call me old if you will (I am) but when did common decency become optional? I’m not advocating a return to the days when my punishment caused me to stand rather than sit, but parents today have few options. They are now fearful (and rightfully so) of teaching kids that their actions have consequences. Here we have a perfect example.

Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile) says:


oh but we do, we do.
Your avatar irritates me… it’s those fuckin eyebrows.
You are a balding man with a Brazilian-wax-goatee-beard and a weird fucking grin on your face. Your eyebrows are bloody ginormous and your head is so big it stretches across the whole freekin page. Where the fuck are your ears ? I changed my resolution to 9001-X-9001 and still my screen is too small.

point: Doing my avatar proud… I am doing it right ! amirite ?

As for pointless trolly /b/… blame the roll of the OP.
stupid kids posting , “post ending on 99 decides a page to go call the user a pedophile”
Random trolling for no fucking reason other than randomly being dickish to a majority of really decent people.
The cancer that killed /b/ is still killing /b/

Some of the OP’s have great, deserving peoples, needing trolled for great reasons. Ignored because lulz is now being a dick for no reason.
Cheek is now a joke….wtf /b/ , cheeky is not funny, funny is.
Scientology was funny because of the cult people being trolled.
Call me a moralfag but…
Baiting pedophiles in chat and posting their dox online for the cops, after sending gifts of delicious pizza etc…
Posting peedo on a random users youtube page

One is lulz….the other is fucking pointless, stupid and cruel to innocent people.
The cancer that killed /b/… that’s it right there.

Anonymous Coward says:

Out of Control

How does one do that job? Swat em a good one?
Her Job is to monitor and report not to smack down your kids.
If it would of been me,I would be in jail right now for beating the crap out the little bastard!
I think she handled it well, given that there was absolutely nothing she could do.

If the internet thinks she deserves the money, who am I (or you) to argue.

Anonymous Coward says:

There is more than bulling going on here at one point a boy says he will cum in her mouth that is sexual harassment not to mention the bra comment and other gross sexual innuendo and these boys making the sexual comments should be charged with sexual harassment.The other children joining in should be charged with harassment and bulling and the parents of these children should be ashamed of the fact that they raised their children with no morals and you should all have to stand in public with signs of your crimes . No amount of sorry can remove the scars you carve into the heart of the person you inflicted your cruelty upon .May she at least find it in her heart to forgive you because all through life this will follow you and you now have to live with that and she has to live with her self a sweet beautiful old lady who did no wrong …

btr1701 (profile) says:

Out of Control

> and what rights does she have to tell parents
> their children are little monsters?

She has every right to tell a parent that. It’s certainly not against the law or anything, and any arm of the government that tried to stop her or punish her for doing so would be violating *her* right to free speech.

I got into this same thing with a mother at a movie theater about a year ago. She brough her 5-year-old to an R-rated movie and the kid eventually got bored and started running up and down the aisle. When the mother did absolutely nothing to stop him, I told the kid to sit down and be quiet. The mother went absolutely apeshit. “You can’t talk to to my child without my permission! I’m gonna call the cops and have you arrested for talking to my child without my permission!” Needless to say she didn’t get very far with that.

There’s no law that says you can’t tell a kid to be quiet and there’s no law that prohibits this woman from telling the parents what budding psychopaths their children are.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Out of Control

Not sure why you jumped on that guy. It could easily happen if there was no video. How is it that you think you would be so all-knowing of what actually happened?

I am not sure why that guy comes in here and has nothing to add other than slamming the “Techdirt community”.

Besides, if there was no video, I certainly wouldn’t be accusing the woman/school of overreacting by calling the police. I wasn’t there, and I don’t know what happened. I do know that no matter what happened, unless I knew what happened, I wouldn’t be jumping on them for overreacting, thus nullifying his statement that the entire “Techdirt community” would complain about the school overreacting.

Chargone (profile) says:


i think the issue is that that reaction should NOT be the one the kid sees when the Kid is in the wrong. reasonable enough when the kid’s the victim (or punished harshly by an outside source, even if legitimately.), but when the kid is in the wrong, especially at that sort of age, the father would, indeed, better serve himself, his kids, and society, if his response is the strong, tern, and authoritative sort. (which is NOT the same as violent, uncaring, abusive, etc.) this does not automatically equate to instant punishment without investigation into the reality of the situation (that undermines authority)…

now, Some of the issue here is that there is a strong undercurrent in the society of large parts of the anglo-sphere (at least) that expressing such empathy is a sign of weakness, and Because of that it undermines the father’s position as an authority. were that not the case it would be less of an issue.

but again, the problem is not that the father feels empathy for the woman and finds the whole thing upsetting. it is that his response When Dealing With the Kid about it, is to break down crying. to the sort of people who would do this thing in the first place, who are undoubtedly bullies, that is a Weakness. which undermines the parent’s capacity as an authority figure to enforce, or even encourage, behavioral change.

(this is one of several reasons, incidentally, that the old apprenticeship systems back a century or two used to work so well for society as a whole, as well as passing on skills and such. it placed that primary authority with the aprentice’s master. the emotional attachments were quite different, and thus so were the reactions. kids (boys at least) that age tend to be far more inclined to listen to someone who has authority over them for an actual Reason, as they see it (the one teaching them the skills they need to earn a living, in this case) than to their parents, who they are largely trying to find an identity independent of, for one.)

blah. hopefully my point is intelligible, i’m not good at explaining this stuff at the best of times. (and this is not the best of times for me.)

Chargone (profile) says:

Excellent point

why the bloody hell do so many people have no concept of the difference between an abusive beating and legitimate, reasonable, physical punishment?

i understand why corporal punishment was removed. far too many people with the above issue thinking the former was the later getting into a position to act on it.

but the moralistic IDIOTS who keep assuming the latter is the former obviously managed to avoid the ENTIRE BLOODY HISTORY OF THE HUMAN RACE where there is MOUNTAINS of evidence that this is untrue.

the simple fact is that it requires balance. such punishments should not be the first recourse, there must be rules and a process. it must be known ahead of time what actions will lead to such punishment. such punishment must be used Every time it is warranted by such rules and process and Never when it is not, and such punishment must be neither excessive given the actions taken, nor so weak as to be irrelevant.

i’m going to be honest: the public shaming and persecution by undisciplined students and ignorant staff unwilling to check allegations and quite willing to punish victims, not for fighting back, but for even Being there to be attacked, or for missing school due to illness when said staff are unwilling to provide materials to allow learning to continue in the mean time that I experienced are, generally speaking, FAR more damaging to a kid’s well being than the strap, properly employed, ever was.

and children go through rebellious streaks Anyway, if their personality is so inclined, ‘whipped’ or not.

as for ‘and abuse their parents in turn’ that may be true in some cases. probably cases where actual abuse took place. it’s also true in cases where no such punishment was used At All. correlation at best. again, you are conflating physical consequences with abuse, By Default, which is in error.

(and no, such punishments are no longer legal here. hell, the legislation that made that change recently was a prime example of such confusion, to the point where Pulling a kid out of the way of an Oncoming Truck as classified as abuse and, when this was pointed out, the morons pushing for the law said it was up to the police to decide whether to prosecute or not. even if physical punishment is not involved, That is a system with arbritary and unreliable enforcement and punishments all out of proportion to the so called ‘crime’, leading to it generally being ignored. it doesn’t help prevent child abuse, which there were already laws against and which those who were prone to abusing children were already ignoring. it just makes good parents criminals as well.)

Chargone (profile) says:

Excellent point

should be noted: my mother spanked me when i was a kid and my behaviour was sufficiently unacceptable. (usually involved refusing to cooperate with lesser punishments.)

i like and respect my mother. we get along pretty well.

my father, on the other hand, would respond in an overly emotional manner, often accusing me of infractions which did not take place, getting into rants and screaming at me over perceived disrespect when i tried to point out such errors, making unreasonable demands of me given my age and health, assigning arbitrary punishments for non-specific lengths of time (all such punishments ended when he forgot about them, basically)…

which eventually pushed me to the point where, lacking other options, i lashed out and attacked him. (doing no damage or anything. i was still a kid) which lead to him ranting on about calling the police, which he never did.

now, a while after, my parents split up. events transpired such that i eventually went to live with my mum full time.

i’m 25 now. these days my dad and i get on reasonably well most of the time. (he’s a lot happier and less paranoid these days, which helps, he has no authority over me anymore, which helps a Lot, and we don’t live in the same house, which also helps.) … but i still don’t really respect him that much, if at all, beyond the basic respect i show all human beings as individuals when they’re not actively causing me grief.

make what you will of that. I conclude that being reasonable and just is a hell of a lot more important (and by definition non-abusive) than not being physical.

Chargone (profile) says:

Out of Control

indeed. a parent is a parent, not a friend.
large parts of their ‘job description’ are the same, and as the kid becomes an adult they get closer, but they are NOT the same thing.

a friend is not an authority (except, perhaps, incidentally, due to other roles). a parent is.

there’s more to it than that, of course, but that’s the basic difference.

Chargone (profile) says:

Out of Control

i couldn’t be surprised to see any attempt at that resulting in the monitor being charged with assault, to be honest.

i would expect their job to be to tell the bus driver to stop and to report such actions to the police so the schools/bus company can disclaim all responsibility for such actions.

basically discourage the behavior by increasing the odds of being caught, but that’s about it.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Out of Control

> wouldn’t stop the parents throwing enough
> of a hissy fit over it to cause serious
> problems

Everything in life comes with tradeoffs, but the school would have a tough time of it if they tried to stifle the woman’s right to speak just to mollify a parent whose nose is out of joint.

In fact, she’d be lucky if they did that. It’d be like winning the lottery for her. She would need that thankless bus monitor job anymore.

RadialSkid (profile) says:

Excellent point

and children go through rebellious streaks Anyway, if their personality is so inclined, ‘whipped’ or not.

I didn’t. Growing up, I only ever saw it out of children who were whipped. The more frequent the whippings, the worse the attitude.

You might be right, and there might be a reasonable amount of physical punishment one can give without crossing some line. Either way, though, it should be the parents doing it, not the schools.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:


Yes. Something that can be exploited against you is a weakness. While it’s not weak to feel empathy over something like this, it is weak to let it visibly move to the point that it’s obvious you cannot control yourself.

You do not have to be a whiny little emo-pansy to be a decent human being. Neither does being a whiny little emo-pansy make you a better human being. It only makes you a weak one.

Dionaea (profile) says:

I don’t give a damn if these kids get death threats, as long as nobody actually does what they’re threatening to do those little pieces of shit deserve every threatening phonecall, email, text and whatever else they’ve gotten.

Another example of how low humans can sink. I don’t care how their parents raised them, whether the old lady should have done something or any crap like that. They brought this on themselves and are now being treated like the fucked up psychos they are.

nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile) says:

Excellent point

My growing up featured similar elements to yours. Especially your dad’s reaction which I think is key.

Many parents today I’ve noticed tend to have 1 of 2 reactions to their kids’ misbehaviour. One is to (over)react to the embarrassment it causes. Meaning misbehaviour that doesn’t embarrass goes unchecked or less punished.

The other is to punish by how much inconvenience it causes – this is much deeper problem. Rather than explaining to little Johnny or Sally what they should or shouldn’t do, the parent waits until they’ve broken something or caused some other inconvenience then act swiftly and angrily to stop them, but don’t at any point explain why or what the child did.

In both cases the child learns that getting caught is the crime, rather than correct behaviour for the setting. It’s quite sad to see this played out twice in the same family close to me through 2 generations.

Far too many parents just don’t make enough time to parent – they don’t even set boundaries, let alone take time to instruct their children in right and wrong.

Kids will test boundaries constantly; it’s part of our human nature – a very good part of our human nature actually – but in kids it needs to be channeled into productive activity rather than into attention seeking.

It is unfortunately far too easy to push one out than to actually successfully raise a human being.

Dionaea (profile) says:


It’s true that the whole situation is messed up, but I still don’t have any pity for these brats. Don’t get me wrong, I do care about recent changes in society and I don’t like em. It’s not just in the USA either, here in the Netherlands it’s pretty bad too. But there’s a difference between just being obnoxious and not doing what you’re supposed to do and sexually harrassing an old lady.

Also, ‘children’? This lot? I think if you can spout crap like that they can be treated as adults. I’m not saying everyone should go send death threats to them or that doing so is normal behaviour, but I sure as hell don’t pity them.

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