School Bus Monitor Bullies Get a Harsh & Fair Punishment (But It's Still Not Enough)

Karen KleinThose nasty bullies who tormented an innocent 68-year-old school bus monitor with comments about her weight, sexual acts and family members killing themselves, finally got their due. A one-year suspension from school, time in some type of rehab facility and community service with the elderly.

A one-year suspension is huge. It seems just and appropriate for a bullying offense. But why does it still not feel like it's enough to pay for what they said and how they actually did it? Maybe because it's not. Once you say such terrible, mean, and hurtful things as they did, you can never take them back or make good on them, no matter how harsh the punishment.

Those taunts will live on the Internet and in the heart of poor Karen Klein forever, no matter how many vacations she gets to take or how many days those boys miss school.

The four middle-schoolers apparently waived their right to a hearing. After a week of talking about the incident, which went viral around the world, the school district near Rochester, New York, issued a statement last night on how to deal with the deviants.

In addition to the suspension and community service work, the boys have to go through a bullying prevention program. Usually, being suspended (or expelled) from school does not mean they miss a grade, it just means they attend an alternative type school where they are still required to complete classwork requirements to be able to keep on track with their current grade. But in many districts, it's not nearly the equivalent of instruction they get while attending regular school, and they miss out on all the social and extra-curricular activities as well. So yeah, it's a real blow to a kid.

But whether the boys will "learn their lesson" from this punishment is unclear. It still doesn't seem to bridge to the larger crime of human decency and respect. Nothing really does. There just is no appropriate punishment for what those boys did to Mrs. Klein ("official" punishment, that is).

Do you think the boys got the punishment they deserved?


behavior, middle school


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nonmember avatar mom

Sounds like a fair punishment. What do you expect to happen? Jail time? Weely letters of apology to Klein.

MMbales MMbales

I think it is fair and appropriate. Hopefully, it will turn into a learning moment for all involved and for the nation. 

nonmember avatar AmberMcB

Why is a school's 'worst' punishment always assumed to be suspension? What kid says, "Oh, damn! I CAN'T go to school this year!!"???? Most likely their parents all work & will ultimately leave them home alone to pursue their own devices.

nonmember avatar Tami

I'm not sure how much more could be done. Hopefully, they''ll change. But as for "poor Karen Klein", seriously, she was made fun of by KIDS. It was cruel and uncalled for and all that good stuff, but I'd totally let a bunch of punks call me a fatass for six hundred grand........

fraoch fraoch

I think it's very fair and appropriate as they are being held accountable, but are children and are being held accountable as a child should be held accountable. Plus, all of their peers know who they are and what they did and they have to live w/that as well.

Teresa Kennedy

The real punisment for these kids is going to be the work of overcoming the fact that the whole world knows what kind of creeps they were. David's plea in Psalm 25 to "remember not the sins of my youth" was a lot easier before the internet!

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I don't think it's an appropriate punishment at all. Taking them out of school and putting them in a facility is the surest way to knock their lives off track and turn them in to real criminals. We are talking about potentially ruining their whole lives because they did a dumbass teenage thing and called someone mean names.

Better to give them a lifetime ban from the bus and leave them in school where every decent kid will ostracize them. It will hurt them more but won't screw them for life.

paren... parentalrights1

I'm glad to see these kids being held accountable.

Only thing that bothers me is, with my experience with bullying, most kids were bullies. Even if they weren't bullies on a regular basis, they were still part of the mob mentality. If they saw kids get bullied, they would join in.

I've had a few occasions where the entire class would join in on bullying.

I don't know how we can reach everyone and make it stop for good. And if they catch entire classes doing that sort of thing, are they going to punish the entire class like that? I'm not sure if they should or not.

banan... banana-bear

I think it was too harsh. Suspension off the bus? Yes. Suspension from school? No. They will just become worse at the alternative school. So sad. They are still kids and should have been treated as such.

qrex912 qrex912

I wouldn't say its too harsh, just not the appropriate punishment. I don't think they will learn alternatives to their behaviors. They're kids, they need discipline and guidance, stricter limits, not to be sentenced to fall below the radar and have more of an excuse to act out.

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