The disturbing story of an older school bus monitor bullied by a group of young school kids is more about class conflict than bullying. “Bullying” is just a name for any remotely similar incident requiring a convenient label for media and public consumption. It discourages further analysis.
Bullies we’re told are cowards, so they intimidate from a position of superior physical strength or numbers; you can add social class as a factor. These bastards taunted Karen Klein because they thought they could do so with impunity by virtue of their assumed superiority. In watching their entire video it is readily apparent that these juveniles believe themselves to be Karen Klein’s social betters.
She is ridiculed for being fat, making her one of the new class of social pariah: the obese. Karen Klein is older, probably relatively poor (at least until now), and horror of horrors she may also be “unfashionable”. A worse social crime there could not be, especially among her young female tormentors, one of whom was clearly a girl who has yet to be identified as among the main perpetrators.
Karen Klein’s plastic handbag is ridiculed after she’s asked where she got it. So are the stores where she supposedly shops. One of the little piss-ants suggests she may have acquired the handbag on a layaway plan. That these kids don’t have to stoop to shop where Karen Klein shops for bargains is clearly evident.
Obviously there is some need for instruction and discipline. However, many lessons have already been well learned by age 13. The character of these animals is set, more or less. What matters now is that some consequences are suffered and the value of justice recognized.
What have these brutes learned? One, at least, has “apologized” saying he would never treat anyone this way again. This is malarkey. If he could not even briefly manage to overcome peer pressure during the prolonged assault, then there was no potential source of remorse to develop in the first place.
The poised and decent Karen Klein does not want to press any charges and says she wants to keep her job. Maybe, among the few decent kids who may ride with Karen in future she will become a sort of folk hero. That might be nice. She has a lot to offer as a role model for retaining composure under trying circumstances. Her tormentors got away with this atrocity far beyond the limits of what any decent human being nearby would tolerate. No one came to her defense until after the fact and probably none were among those present. (NB: A late report caught on a television interview reveals that the little creep who recorded the entire incident is of the view that Karen Klein should have defended herself. What a sterling character this pubescent punk will be someday.)
The best consequence for the main morons would be to lose their unearned privileges of riding the school bus and attending the public school for free. Their parents should experience consequences as well. They should be compelled, as a result of their kids’ expulsions, to send or take them to another school that would be willing to accept them. A military academy might be a good choice. In addition to learning about discipline they might someday find themselves in a situation where someone older with superior skills may take rough exception to being physically assaulted or coerced.
©Copyright 2012 Edward Podritske
One thought on “The Bully Class”
I like your new image. It has a lot in common with Ilona’a portrait of AR. How did you do it?