June 23, 2012

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This video has shocked the US & the world

Bullying is every where and affects all age groups, all ethnicities and genders. It is the meanest way to make life hell for others and it has to stop.

It is a painful watch but it tells a lot about the way we have brought up our kids: an old lady (school bus monitor) is verbally abused and bullied by school children resulting in her crying in despair.

The bullying includes physical threats, threats to ransack her place of residence, and cruel comments about her weight and dead mother.

Karen Huff Klein is a bus monitor at the Greece Central School District in Rochester, NY. There is no excuse for the horrendous bullying Klein endures in this video by a group of teens, which drives her to tears. (A school bus monitor monitors the conduct of students on school buses to maintain discipline and safety and participates in school bus safety drills. They also ride school buses to prevent altercations between students and damage to the bus.)

They say all sorts of things and these are some of the taunts: "Dumb-ass, fat-ass." "Maybe she is an elephant." "She's gonna pick out which kid she's gonna rape next." "Karen wants herpes." "F**king hearing aid." "I'll egg your house." "What's your address so I can p*ss all over your door." "I'll f**king take a cr*p in your mouth." "You touched her arm flap. It's all stinky and smelly." "She probably eats deodorant because she can't afford real food." "What size bra are you? Triple sag?"

District Statement Regarding YouTube Video
This morning we were made aware of a troubling video that was posted to YouTube depicting students ridiculing a bus monitor. We were able to confirm that the woman in the video is a Greece Central School District employee. We immediately activated our district bullying and violence prevention response team to investigate and contacted the Greece Police Department to conduct their own investigation.

We have discovered other similar videos on YouTube and are working to identify all of the students involved. Links to the YouTube posts were also forwarded to members of the media, some of whom have reported inaccurate and concerning information including names and addresses of students alleged to be involved in the incidents. The bus involved in this incident was carrying middle school students -- all of whom are juveniles. Although their behavior was inexcusable, we also have concern for the safety of all involved. We urge patience to allow us to investigate and determine the appropriate discipline.

Currently, our district security staff and Greece Police are interviewing all of those involved. The Greece Police Department has assigned an investigator to partner with us. The Greece Central School District is committed to providing students and staff with a safe environment that respects the dignity of all. We do not tolerate harassment of staff or students.

While we cannot comment on specific student discipline, we can say that students found to be involved will face strong disciplinary action. We will continue our ongoing bullying prevention and awareness training to ensure that incidents like this do not occur in the future. Specifically, the Greece Central School District has recently adopted the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, a systemic approach involving all community stakeholders to reduce bullying and other anti-social behaviors.

The Greece Central School District has a clear Code of Conduct and all staff and students have been fully trained. This behavior is a clear violation and will not be tolerated. The district will also ensure that reporting procedures are reviewed and response procedures are systemically in place.

School homepage: http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/athena-middle.cfm
School contact page: http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/contact.cfm?school=7