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June 28, 2012  |   Comments (5)   |   Post a comment

District: 4 to be disciplined in bus monitor bullying

By Thomas McMahon


GREECE, N.Y. — School district officials have identified four middle school students as participants in the harassment of school bus monitor Karen Klein, an incident that sparked international attention.

A passenger on the bus captured video of the profane taunting of Klein last week and posted it on YouTube.

The Greece Central School District said in a statement that it has been "touched by the outpouring of support for Karen, and we share the country’s outrage over the behavior displayed on the videos. We are deeply sorry that Karen was subjected to that kind of treatment."

The four Athena Middle School students were identified based on the district's internal investigation and interviews conducted by local police.

District officials said that "disciplinary action to the fullest extent appropriate under New York education law will be taken against all involved," noting that they would not disclose "the specific disciplinary consequences that will result for any individual student."

Discipline for public school students in New York is handled under specific procedures set forth in the state education law.

If a district seeks a suspension of more than five days, it must prove the student’s violation of its code of conduct in a due process hearing before a hearing officer. If the student is found guilty, the hearing officer makes a recommendation to the superintendent for an appropriate period of suspension.

The Greece Central School District noted in the statement that it has a bullying prevention model that includes a district response team and training programs for staff and students. In March, the district also hired a special counselor to train all staff in bullying prevention models.

"We have received thousands of phone calls and e-mails from people across the country wanting to convey their thoughts," district officials added. "People are outraged by what has happened, and they feel the students should be punished. While we agree that discipline is warranted, we cannot condone the kind of vigilante justice some people are calling for. This is just another form of bullying and cannot be tolerated.

"It is our job as educators and parents to teach children and lead by example. We encourage parents to use this as a springboard to begin a dialogue with their children about bullying, respect and consequences."

The district also encouraged students and employees who are subjected to bullying and harassment "to report it as soon as it occurs and to take a stand if they are witness to bullying in their lives."

The New York Association for Pupil Transportation also addressed the incident and pledged to work with state and local officials to enhance training to help bus drivers and monitors respond to such situations.

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Read more about: aide/monitor, behavior management, bullying, driver training, New York

If they had respect for their own grandparents this would never have happened. They should be suspended from the bus permanently.

Laura from Philly    |    Jul 09, 2012 07:55 AM

See something - do something! I think people all across this Nation and the world for that matter seen what had happened on the U-Tube posting. Well - lawyers are speaking for school officials. Being pro-active means you are engaged in doing something about an existing problem. Reactive responses are after the fact. TRAINING; is vital for employees who are out in the field doing their jobs. The monitor maintained her own control by not reacting in a violent way toward the students and that say volumes as to her composure during her situation. I may have to go and view the posting again. Correct me if I am wrong but - where was the bus driver? Over my 27 years in transportation we have had monitors and other school employees attacked by students and the employees never harmed the students. We've lost many good employees because school officials never strengthened their zero tolerance policies for violent student behavior issues and employees continued to be attacked because there was no consequences from bad student behaviors. Can you say LAWSUIT. We all hate lawsuits yet that is a tool that actually helps change school policies and attitudes to become more PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE after something bad has already taken place. Blown out of proportions? I don't think so given there are many school employees across this nation who suffer much more than what the U-Tube posting showed on this bus monitor. You can read the response from the school above and see this is a reactive response yet hopefully it becomes a sincere proactive movement for ALL school officials to actually meet with and talk to their employees. Communication goes a long way when people actually take the time to share their own experiences and expectations with all involved. School boards write policies all the time and their school board attorneys review such polices. So it is just part of the big picture of bullying that goes on everywhere that school officials make common sense policies that pr

Dan Luttrell    |    Jun 30, 2012 07:06 AM

Vigilante Justice is EXACTLY the kind of justice that is needed to SEND the strongest message possible that we will not continue to coddle our children and allow them to act like monsters!! Why do you think kids do things like this these days? I'll tell you because they know that they will not be punished and if by an act of god they are it will be a walk in the park and high fives from their crew will more than make up for the punishment!

Nathan    |    Jun 29, 2012 11:26 AM

Kids are getting ruder to authoritive adults and little is done about it. Nothing has been mentioned about the busdriver's actions in the Karen Klein incident. Was the driver aware of what was happening? I would like to see stricter programs or punishments for students who are being bullies in the schools and on the buses. I am a school bus driver also, and I would welcome specialized training for this type of behavior. In fact...I would love to be a trained Instructor for this program. Kids need to learn to respect adults and there are consequences for such behavior....I also blame the parents for NOT teaching their kids these values. In a lot of cases, the parent defends their childs' action instead of making them accountable. Wake up parents---Your child is not the angel you think they are!

Terri Bourdo    |    Jun 29, 2012 04:37 AM

they will get barely a slap on the wrist for being bad citizens. no parenting, no schooling, no discipline leads to this type of behavior. this is what is acceptable in today's hands off lawyer up society. "the kids can do no wrong" has turned a generation into a pack of snotty brats. it will only get worse.

ticked off    |    Jun 28, 2012 05:42 PM

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