Police Reviewing Video of Abuse of Grandmother On New York Middle School Bus

As a parent, this video of middle school students taunting a grandmother Karen Klein, 68, on a school bus is nothing short of revolting. The grandmother was on the bus as a monitor and is reduced to tears by the cruel comments and threats of the children. The bus belongs to the Greece Central School District in New York.

Police are now reviewing the video but I do not see why this is a criminal matter. It is a serious school matter. The students involved in this episode show an alarming degree of antisocial and threatening conduct — even for teenagers. I was left wondering how these children were raised and what the reaction of the parents will be to this video. The school’s reaction should be hand out suspensions and expulsions.

Source: MSNBC

92 thoughts on “Police Reviewing Video of Abuse of Grandmother On New York Middle School Bus”

  1. Mespo, I agree with you about how most of the kids treat most non-abusive authority figures (like the bus monitor and like you when you coached and taught etc.). My mother (d. 1978) was a teacher in kindergarten in public schools in NJ. She earned a distinction (only basically created the year she first won it, and then she was disabled and then died, so I presume the award continued to be given but don’t know) called “Master Teacher” in a school system in the middle of nowhere. But her story is interesting. She was teaching in an underprivileged area and conceived of the idea of having all parents offered the opportunity to come in and help in the classroom if they wanted, with a little training course SHE gave herself to each one individually, where she would basically assess their interests, abilities, and so forth. Nowadays you wouldn’t be able to do such a program in a public school without massive paperwork and insurance stuff, etc., I’m sure. Anyway, what happened was that parents who really wanted to do it would put in the time and effort and get really good! Some of them went on to find jobs as a result of their in-house training with her.

    One mother she taught was still working “for” her years after her own kid had graduated, and when my mom had her leg amputated (cancer, hip disarticulation, crutches, return to the classroom in 4 months with classroom walking aids installed) this woman greatly increased her hours so she could not only help the kids, but help my mother getting around while she taught her very active class.

    My mom’s return to the classroom had been carefully planned out because she needed to educate the kids not to be horrified or scared about her cancer and her surgery. I made posters for her, worked out lessons, etc., and she actually taught the kids how the doctors had “helped me keep living and learn how to live differently” from the diagnosis and operation.

    NOT A SINGLE KID in her classroom had a negative experience with the lessons she taught about health and hospitals, surgery, prosthetics, etc. They asked a thousand questions, and as the year progressed, came up with more and more questions.

    But one day as she and the volunteer parent stood at the door of the classroom as the kids came in from recess, an older kid who had been a bully and a troubled kid (and who had never had my mother as his teacher) came by the door of the classroom and shouted at her:


    My mom burst into laughter, while the volunteer parent burst into tears!

    ALL THE KIDS in my mom’s classroom, by the time they had returned to the room after this incident, clustered around the volunteer parent and comforted her! My mother was so proud of the children — she never stopped telling that story. There was one bully in the story; there were 21 protective, loving, wonderful kids in the same story!

    My mom called me that night (I lived in NY and she lived in NJ) and asked me to help her write a song (she had a piano in her classroom, couldn’t teach without it) for the kids, called “You comfort me.” The tune was a sort of expanded version of “Three Blind Mice” but it was an easy tune, fitting the syllables well. I can only remember the chorus:

    You comfort me,
    You comfort me,
    Today is a mountain that might be steep
    Your smile is a promise that you always keep
    Whenever I see you my heart takes a leap because
    You comfort me.

    And her classroom volunteer sang that a few years later at my mother’s memorial service. In those days we didn’t think of making printed-up “programs” for funerals but I should have done that.

    1. Thank you for the heart warming story. This is what My Lord wants to see in all of us. The bully will change observing Christ in the kids in the class room.

  2. Manny,

    I didn’t suggest that the perpetrators get off. Neither did Malisha. What we we were addressing is what’s going on and how to stop the abuse from continuing or escalating.

    I was once a part of a group of elementary kids that picked on one kid. I didn’t start it, I didn’t watch from a distance, I was on the edges of it, was swept up in the mob reaction and became a part of it. Seeing the hurt in the kid we bullied shamed me. I did something wrong and hurt someone. It made me aware of what bullying was and what being part of a mob can do to someone who would normally not take part in an action. I was lucky that my parents didn’t find out about it.

    There have been times when I have seen others being bullied. I didn’t take part and I did nothing to stop it. There have been other times that I stopped it. The difference? Over the years I gained confidence and skills. My skills were more intuitive than studied but they worked.

    This incident has gotten so much attention that the boys will undoubtedly get some sort of punishment. Some of the parents seem to be taking this very seriously. I expect most of those participating in the school bus will learn a very valuable lesson from this experience about bullying. They will feel the shame of what they did. Some may even intervene in the future whenever they see bullying. The primary instigator probably won’t but he’ll have a harder time finding stooges to go along with him.

  3. MSM needs to interview the parents and ask them if they are proud parents of their kids.

  4. elbow

    Take the children to juvenile court. Kick them off the bus for a year and assign them to a year of community service working in a nursing home. Anyone caught mistreating the elderly shoud be sent to juvy hall. Students get teased often on the bus…..others feel they can get away with it because no one in authority is watching. They need to be held accountable for the priviledge of riding a bus to school. Some districts are cutting bus services from their programs. Mom and Dad need to be inconvenienced and the drop of income should be duly noted to the teen. It’s a hard lesson but not one to learn in the classroom…parents are their first teachers.

  5. These kids are really disrespectful who sits there and picks on a old lady they must have it bad at home that they have to pick on someone. How would they feel if they saw there grandmother on here getting called names and that, its crazy the school needs to kick them out, and they need to be arrested. I feel bad that they were threatening that poor lady & these kids are supposed to be teenagers sad because they do not act like it, well god doesn’t like ugly … karma will get them in the end.

  6. Hey,hey Ben,

    I do the same as Malisha, but only with small kids who push and shove.

    You’re so right. Join the fanclub.

  7. Malisha said: “I got up, and noisily approached, and sat across from them (there were plenty of empty seats) to break the “paralysis” feeling in the train. I plopped down on the seat and said: “Here I am” loudly. The woman pretended not to notice what I had done and she continued to pretend not to notice what the guy was doing to her. He looked up for a second and then spoke to her again in a lower voice. I said, “SPEAK UP I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” He said, “Who are YOU?” I said, “WHOEVER I AM, none of your business, WHO ARE YOU?” He looked like a circuit had been interrupted. The woman continued to look down. The guy got off at the next stop.”

    You are an interesting person,

  8. I wonder if Disney did not stage this all?

    Or if not, they surely have signed her up for a series of movies. Title suggestions? “The Fat Fairy Godmother”.

    No, why this gripe? The size of the reaponse and the hop-in of Disney. Then we are back to crap again. Along with the inevitable politicizing from the individual to the large.
    How tiresome. Goanna go eat some pancakes. Maybe my sugar is low.

  9. Wow, not only is this woman now getting over 500K (so far) in donations the Disney company is giving her an all expense paid trip to walt disney world. Its hard to believe, but this is almost a happy ending for this elderly lady

    I was especially angered when they suggested she had no family because they killed themselves because they didn’t want to be close to her fat as s. Only to then find out that one of her sons committed suicide 10 years ago. Just look at the expression on her face when they say that, it brings tears to your eyes. That alone takes this abuse to a whole nother reprehensible level. Suspension for an entire year and no criminal charges only becayse Karen is not pressing them? They got off easy…


  10. Malisha/Betty,

    It’s great that you stand in the gap for the people as you describe that are getting abused. It made me so happy to hear you tell the story you did. You are exactly the kind of people we need more of in society. People that care enough about their fellow men/women and intervene to assist the voiceless/weak/oppressed

    Just want to stress though that a victims inability or ignorance to standup or wisely diffuse such an assault is not something that in any way or degree gives a pass to the savages or somehow diminishes their level of responsibility. I understand how these brutes feed off the weakness and cowering and sometimes when the victim ignores them it just feeds the malevolent fire. But I don’t care…there is only one party at fault in any way and that’s the scumbag(s) who are doing the abuse regardless of how adept or not adept the victim is in weathering/stopping the tirade of garbage coming at them

    It should not be a fault to be weak(and not saying you are saying that either, just making this statement). There will always be people and animals that are weak by design or circumstance when contrasted with a stronger offensive brute. I would go so far a to say that in many cases that physical or mental weakness can be inversely a strength in other areas or situations so to call anything really a weakness/strength is not an absolute as in the right context the same attribute easily switches for better or worse.

    Bottom line to me it seems is the wickedness of the people. Sure some people think there is no such thing as good/evil righteousness/wickedness but I disagree. While i respect the notion of mental illness it gets used as a pass far too much with people that are nothing more than simply evil people.
    I believe that there are far more truly wicked people walking this earth than are getting charged with horrific crimes. They are unknown and merely restrained by fear of what society will do to them if they are caught, but that in no way diminishes their desire to execute wickedness against those weaker than them including people and animals if only a “safe” opportunity were to materialize for them to leverage

    And it is this reason why the neutering of school’s authority and power and really society in general is a travesty when it comes to protecting the weak because the defenders of the weak are terrified they will be prosecuted as if they were one of the very scumbags they were fending off the weak.

    The effect is epic and cross-functional across the strata of society and we essentially have earned this experience though our collective acceptance of the societal neutering and culture of political correctness. as generations come and go it becomes further entrenched in the psyche of children as a “default” of the norm and I fear it cannot be realistically undone until this society literally self-destructs under this unsustainable mode of operation and is reborn at some point and in some way in a new plymouth rock level event

  11. It is, however, absolutely true that suspensions and detentions won’t help, either. The punishment has to fit the crime, and the students need to learn empathy and compassion. Truly
    Truly I agree with just about everything you said except in the above. I would say that if ‘ONLY’ suspensions and detentions are employed, that won’t help either. The punishment has to fit the crime, and the students need to learn empathy and compassion.

    For kids this far gone it should be a concerted effort and at least 3 pronged approach….suspension while corrective action is implemented, detention while re-educating and positive ‘fixing what ya broke’. I don’t think any of the forementioned need to be done in a cruel, ostracizing or humiliating tone but with the understanding that ‘hey, you got it wrong now we make it right, and move on better…’

  12. right on meanspirits!!!
    You should write a book on how to get into congress or even the white house

  13. Blame society. Start with the top. Our leaders both political and corporate, have spent the last decade plus showing everyone else how to:
    Be greedy,
    Possess no shame,
    Take no responsibility,
    Have no moral compass.
    You don’t have to look any further to find the root cause of such behavior-it is becoming the norm.
    When you spend your time watching the people ahead of you on the social ladder lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead, it seems reasonable that one day these people might start trying to climb up after them using the same rungs.

  14. Stupid idea. Apologies. Great for the kids, bad for patients and personnel. Hygiene, behavior, etc make it an impossible workplace to learn empathy through practice.

  15. I think community service such as being mentored, singly, as assistants to under-nurses (american term? ward attendants?) would help teach them empathy. Start in youth orthopedics a week, then go on to a week at physically handicapped elder patients to finally a week
    with dement patients.

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