Thu June 21, 2012
Outrageous case of bullying by students to a bus monitor
An outrageous and disturbing case of bullying in the Greece Central School District was captured in a ten-minute video.
Middle school students from a Rochester suburb relentlessly taunted and verbally abused a bus monitor. The video that was posted on YoutTube showing 68-year-old Karen Klein trying to ignore horrible taunting, insults, profanity and threats directed to her while riding on the bus.
"Oh my God, you're so fat. Karen you're so fat. You're so fat. You take up like the whole damn seat," students taunted.
At one point, the bullying brought Klein to tears. When the students asked her why her face was wet she said she was crying.
Klein told a Rochester newspaper she tried to ignore them. But students continued with foul language and nasty remarks toward the elderly bus employee.
"Look at all this flab right here," said one student.
"Unless you have something nice to say, don't say anything at all, " replied Klein.
One student even asked another if he was posting it on Facebook. The students also asked where she lived and threatened to come to her home.
Klein told a Rochester newspaper she tried to ignore them. The Greece Central School District says the behavior was "inexcusable."
The District is working to identify the students involved, indicating all were juveniles. The District says students found to be involved will face "strong disciplinary action". The Greece Police Department is also investigating.
The bullying video has outraged so many citizens that a fund was established already raising $124,000 to send Klein on a vacation.
The following is a statement issued Wednesday by the Greece Central School District:
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.