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Bus Monitor Bullied by Seventh Graders Shows Bullying is NOT Just For Kids

68-year-old Karen Klein made the news – via a viral video – by showing that bullying is NOT just for kids.

In this viral video, four seventh-grade boys are shown mercilessly bullying Klein, taunting her, yelling obscenities and more. Klein is visible on camera, holding back tears and trying her best to ignore the boys. She gradually broke down and cried in the face of the bullying from her tormentors. One of the bullies is caught on camera saying, "You don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they don't want to be around you." Klein's oldest son killed himself 10 years ago.

There are several great lessons in this story…

One, thank goodness that the boys were geniuses enough to get caught on camera bullying this 68-year-old woman. Say what you want about the invasive nature of technology these days, but in some instances, you WANT technology to be there for you. This was one of those times.

Two, the Rochester, New York school system where Klein works suspended the boys for one year from riding the bus and sent them to alternative schooling. This sends a strong message that bullying  – no matter what the age of people involved – will not be tolerated.

Three, a fundraiser was started to raise $5,000 to send Klein on a nice vacation – raised $667,000 in just days, thanks to the viral video and news coverage. She plans to pay off her bills, invest and donate to research.

Now, the not-so-great, could-be-better lessons…

One, no matter what age, bullying is happening. From six to sixty-eight, bullying is real, it is here to stay due to our human nature and it is not going away. It is up to us to be strong and learn how to protect and defend against bullying and take our power back from bullies.

Two, bullying hurts, no matter what the age. I don't know about you, but it still hurts me when someone says something mean out of anger or with the attempt to hurt my feelings; the difference is I know how to recognize it, process it and protect against it.  There is an old saying, "Words are like swords" and it is TRUE.  Learning to be "Bully Proof" does NOT mean that you will never get hurt or upset; it means you will know how to think and what to do when you get hurt or upset.

Three, where was everyone else on that bus when those four boys where bullying that 68-year-old grandmother? If all of this teaching about bullying teaches to stop it when you see it, stick up for people that are being bullied and more, where was everybody? It is a good thing that someone filmed what was going on, but what would you do if you saw someone bullying a woman that looked like your grandmother? Sheesh…

All of the boys involved in the incident (and their parents) have apologized in writing or in person to Klein, and while she is thankful and accepts their apologies, she said she still wants to talk with them more and find out, "What were they thinking?"

I bet she wouldn't mind putting them over her knee and teaching them a lesson or two, either.

Good for her.  It sounds like she didn't let those boys take her power away from her.

There is a lesson in that, too…

Stay strong,



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