Question About Bus Monitor Story

by Joy Donovan on June 25, 2012

The verbal taunts of teenagers who bullied bus monitor Karen Klein clearly are awful, undeserved and insulting. If it were my children involved in this incident, I’d wonder where I went wrong as a parent that my child could find such sick fun in treating a human being that way.

The video of her being insulted time and again by these little jerks has gone viral, prompting a public outcry. Shame on the students. A fundraiser which now totals a half a million dollars will pay for Klein and her family to go on a vacation. Good for them.

We can all agree those mouthy teenagers deserve some firm discipline, and Klein should never, ever have been subjected to such treatment. An additional thought, though, concerns me when I see this video.

But is any parent who has ever put a child on a school bus bothered at all by Klein’s mild-mannered demeanor? When parents leave children in the care of a bus monitor, teacher, principal or coach, there is an assumption the person in charge will possess a certain amount of authority over those students. If her job is to be the bus monitor and we see her looking out the window instead of taking command of the bus she’s supposed to monitor, is she the right person for this job? If it were a student who was being bullied by these juvenile delinquents, would this bus monitor be able to protect that victim?

You would never want me to be your brain surgeon because that’s not in my skill set. So I’m curious about what are the job requirements for a person supervising a group of teenagers. When I see this video, I’m certainly sickened by the verbal assaults hurled at Klein, a 68-year-old grandmother, but I’m also puzzled. It seems someone so reluctant to take charge, stop the bus or call authorities should never have been hired to command a bus full of rowdy teenagers.

The teens were wrong to hurl the insults, but I’m wondering how Klein was selected for this job.


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