When is bullying going to stop? From children to adults, bullying can have incredibly severe, negative impacts. On Thursday June 21, 2012, four middle school students verbally attacked 68-year-old Karen Klein, a school bus monitor for the Greece Central School District in New York.
A 10-minute video of the bullying was released and went viral, sparking an international outrage, as well as massive support for Klein. The YouTube video was viewed more than 2 million times by that Thursday evening. People from across the globe were impacted by the video, and an online crowd-funding site raised more than $300,000 from more than 12,000 people, helping to send Klein on vacation.
The boys repeatedly told the bus driver that she’s fat and that her kids should kill themselves because they did not want to be near her. I want to know who is teaching these kids that it’s okay to call people fat and talk about people committing suicide? Unfortunately, one of Klein’s children did kill themselves ten years ago. Although Klein was negatively affected by the bullying and disappointed in the boys’ behavior, she said she hopes that the boys will not be criminally charged, and that the parents of the boys will watch the video and talk to them about behaivior and respect.
The incident with Klein, along with many other bullying stories that have reached the public through the news media, have increased awareness about the serious problem. Earlier this year, a bullying prevention conference was held at the White House, calculating nearly 13 million students affected per year. President Obama said he hoped to “dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage or inevitable part of growing up.”
Klein continues to receive massive support and comfort from her community and from compassionate people around the world.