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July 03, 2012  |   Comments (7)   |   Post a comment

Bus monitor bullies suspended from school, bus


GREECE, N.Y. — The families of four students who participated in the taunting of bus monitor Karen Klein have agreed to one-year suspensions from school and from regular bus transportation for the students after meeting with school and district administrators last week.

As previously reported, a video of the students harassing Klein on board a bus went viral after it was posted on YouTube, and the district announced that disciplinary action would be taken.

During the 2012-13 school year, the students will be transferred to the district Reengagement Center, an alternative education program that keeps middle school students on track academically while providing a structured opportunity for students to take responsibility for their actions by completing community service hours and receiving formal instruction related to conduct and behavior. Officials said the program includes a strong parent involvement component.

Each student will be required to complete 50 hours of community service with senior citizens and will complete a formal program in bullying prevention, respect and responsibility. In accordance with district policy, if at 30 weeks into the school year the students have completed the conditions of their discipline and are in good standing at the Reengagement Center, they can apply for early readmission to Athena Middle School.

Officials said that school districts are usually unable to announce the exact discipline students receive for violations of the code of conduct. It was possible in this case because each of the students involved admitted to wrongdoing, accepted the recommended consequences and agreed to permit the district to publicly release the terms of their disciplinary action. The parents and students in this case reportedly cooperated fully with the district investigation and with the Greece Police Department investigation.

This summer, Greece Central School District staff, including transportation employees, will continue to take part in previously scheduled bullying prevention trainings. The trainings will include information on New York state’s Dignity for All Students Act, requiring schools to provide a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment and bullying on school property, on school buses and at school functions.

Officials also said that Greece Central School District remains committed to bullying prevention efforts through full implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in all schools and the Olweus Bullying Prevention model.

In 2011, the district established and posted on its website a clear bullying reporting process that identifies trained staff in each school for parents and students to work with to address bullying and harassment if it occurs. This process will be more highly publicized throughout the district.

Moreover, the district is currently completing an internal review of policies, training, reporting and appeals protocols to ensure clear steps that employees and students can take to combat bullying and behavior that cultivates a negative environment of disrespect.

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Read more about: bullying, New York

I agree with Laura's comments below that it just goes on and on and it does stay the same. As most of you know, much worse things happen than taunting monitors and it happens frequently throughout the United States. I guess bus drivers do not have the same clout as the airlines. If this were to take place on airlines, the culprits would not only be booted off the plane, but more than likely be charged with criminal acts. The traveling public does not tolerate the same behavior that bus drivers. Since the bus driver is usually the only adult on the bus, government, school officials and the general public has no idea what goes on and if they do they think the bus driver, who often has up to three classroom loads of students, is supposed to handle all the noise and distraction WHILE the are maneuvering a large vehicle safely in traffic. I guess bus drivers do not have the same clout as airline personnel. The point is, safety and behavior are important matters, whether on an airline or on a school bus. Student behavior and noise has been and continues to be a on-going problem. If members of Congress's children rode our public school buses, I think there would probably be action taken quite promptly.

Stephen Dawson    |    Jul 17, 2012 09:06 AM

This should have not gone on this long. This is why I say administration of the school districts need to listen to us driver's and stand up for us as a parent if I was told my child did this well lets say it would not happen again. But I am not one of those parents who say My child would never do that she is a good kid. Bull crap I say sneak that parent on the bus have them sit in the back of the bus and see what it is like. I would love to hand out applications for employment to all of those parents and say after you walk in my shoes then let talk by the way it starts at home.

sue stewart    |    Jul 05, 2012 07:08 PM

This problem just goes on an on, every day I come here to read the news and I read the same. Have you guys heard about the noise buster machine invented by Stephen Dawson?? I read his article other day and I think it will help with all these bullying problems. It can't continue like this, we need changes in the school buses, but the districts are trying to save money and getting more stressed big time. what are the districts waiting to test this noise machine in the buses?? Just don't get it!!

Laura Marie    |    Jul 05, 2012 11:57 AM

I don't understand what all the rallying about this driver being bullied is all about. I am a school bus driver and have over 100 kids whom I transport everyday. I have no monitor but part of my training is about how to handle these kinds of situations. This woman didnt even speak a word in her defense. You might say i never dealt with a bully, well your wrong. Plenty of them i have dealt with, but i never made national TV. Its my job to deal with these situations. I am so thrilled that these kids are being suspended but sorry that does not solve the problem and never has, probably never will. I feel bad for this woman that she had to endure this, but I also don't understand why her company would not train her in dealing with situations like this or why they would put her on a bus where the kids are that bad. Sorry, just my opinion. This happens everyday on school busses, why now is it making headlines? Probably because it is an elderly woman.

Rhonda    |    Jul 05, 2012 10:08 AM

If you are a parent you should look into parenting pride app. For your kids phone to help stop bullying.

JD    |    Jul 04, 2012 07:28 PM

schoolbus bullying happens every day. as a bus driver i know this takes place every trip. i don't understand why this lady is in the news so much. we go through more then that everyday.

al    |    Jul 03, 2012 04:35 PM

it is sad that it took that much to get those kids suspended from the bus. When I rode the bus, 3 of our neighbors were bus drivers. They did not write us bus tickets, but we knew what was coming if we saw them talking to our parents, and looking in our direction, or we picked up the phone and our bus driver was on the other end. I have driven for both districts, and private contractors, and they are all about the same when it comes to discipline, a driver really has to be careful, or they will lose their jobs because they say they have poor passenger management skills. When you get no backing from the districts and the contractors, how can your passenger management skills be effective?

Brian Ferrell    |    Jul 03, 2012 04:19 PM

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