Viral Universe More Dangerous For Bullies; A Haven for Victim-Bus Monitor Karen Klein

Author: Carole Di Tosti.
Published: June 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Karen Klein, bus monitor 

As Karen Klein was ridiculed, tormented and harassed on the bus where she was monitoring students for Greece Central School District near Rochester, NY, she never imagined that her image would go viral and she would have more than 15 minutes of fame on network and cable talk shows. The belligerent, abusive taunts, "bitch, fatass, poor, ugly,"  rang out empowering four seventh grade bullies who felt justified in their badgerings. Such behavior is conspiratorial and secret by nature, relying on the passive voyeurism of weak, like-minded watchers. Well, one watcher protested and in silence, videotaped the verbal assault paving the way for it to be uploaded from Youtube onto by Max Sidorov, the 25-year-old Toronto man, who, after seeing the video, initiated a campaign to send Karen on a vacation away from such "trash."

Never did the bullies assume that their behavior, which to them was "normal," would be seen by the culture at large as reprehensible. Never did they imagine that the shoe would be on the other foot, and for their 10 minutes of "fun," they would be on the receiving end of global censure, reprimands and the fear of punishment/litigation/criminal charges. 

Such is the power of social media. It's a new world, and bullies everywhere should beware, from corporate board rooms, to police stations to the streets of Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago. Truly, it's like the Buffalo Springfield song refrain, "Something's Happenin' Here." In this instance, it is crystal clear...and to tie it in to another refrain from the 1968 Democratic Convention protests, "The whole world is watching!"

The anonymity and complicity required for bullying is disappearing because the likelihood of someone with a mobile device uploading such injustice and blatant cruelty to Youtube has now increased exponentially given the overwhelming response to the bullying bus incident which should prompt a wider campaign to make such verbal violence from kids criminal. Can you imagine the dismay when the bullies learned that: 1) that the culture violently opposed their behavior in the outpouring of support for Klein; 2)they provoked "bullying avengers" to locate their phone numbers and addresses and retaliate with phone calls and death threats? There should be a bullying law or there may arise vigilant justice regarding such incidents as viral enforcers attempt to bring societal bullies to task. (Spike Lee incident). 

Viewing the video and Karen Huff Klein's response, one understands why "avengers," might be so provoked. The video clip shows a visibly upset Klein whose comment that she is crying fuels one bully's response, "She probably misses her box of Twinkies." Their aggression escalates when they ask where she lives so they can "piss" on her door, perform sexual acts and steal from her. The verbal violence moves from "she probably eats deodorant because she can't afford real food," to ridiculing banter guessing what would pour out of Klein's stomach if they stabbed her. They did touch Klein violating her personal space to mock her and the video ends with an arrow strike:  "You don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they didn't want to be near you." Did the middle schooler know that Klein's oldest son committed suicide 10 years ago, as reported by CNN affiliate WHAM? The intent to verbally knife her with her son's unfortunate tragedy is wicked. It demonstrates the abject condition of the bully's psychological health.

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Article Author: Carole Di Tosti.

Carole Di Tosti, Ph.D. is a published writer, novelist and poet. She writes for Blogcritics. She authors three blogs: 1) 2) 3) …

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