We've probably all seen by now the awful video of the poor old lady being verbally beaten down by a bunch of middle school kids on a school bus.  I have a few thoughts on this issue which will follow. However, one thing I won't say is "Why, back in MY day ..." because, let's face it, kids could be pretty awful back then too. Not me, of course. I had a good Christian raising and my parents would've beaten the tar out of me if I ever said one disrespectful word to any grownup, let alone the kind of crap these little heathens were saying.

But, I still remember hearing how rotten my generation was so I'm not going down that path here.  So, that being said, here are my thoughts on this.

1.) Was this a Paying Job?

At first, I thought this must be a volunteer job that this dear, saintly old lady had taken on because she wanted to do something to help today's generation.  From what I've heard today, it sounds like this was a job that she got paid for.  If that's the case...

2.) What did they hire her to do???

Sit there and take it while a bunch of mouth-breathing, pubeless little assholes taunt and curse at her??  I would think that the point of paying an adult to ride on a bus would be to make sure the kids behave and don't do anything criminal and/or homicidal.  I don't know what the financial arrangement is for "bus monitors" these days but they could have paid a potted fern to sit there and maintain as much order as this poor woman did.  What would happen if a couple of these little mongrels started fighting each other? Would she suddenly snap into "Bus Monitor" mode and take charge of the situation? Please.

I don't feel any less sorry for the lady. But, come on...in a day where schools are facing cut-backs across the board can you really justify paying a Bus Monitor whose main skill seems to be "able to withstand 8 minutes of  'tween dickholery?

3.) What's the Bus Driver Doing?

When I rode the bus we didn't have a "monitor". We had the bus driver, Mr. Jeffries, who was also the school janitor.  Mr. Jeffries was a sweet man in his 60's who stood 5'7" and couldn't have weighed more than 135 pounds.  He also had the sense of  hearing of a jack-rabbit. One time, James Eversole was sitting in the very back seat of the bus and he called the girl sitting across the aisle, Tammy Blankenship, a "bitch".  Mr. Jeffries (oh, here's something else. I never knew his first name. You know why? Because we never would have called a teacher or other adult by their first name, ever! And he was the school janitor!) slammed on the brakes, pulled the bus over and walked all the way to the back and, just like in a Spencer Tracy movie, grabbed James Eversole by his arm and threw him right off the bus.  No cell phone to call his mom, no charges were ever filed. Just, get off the bus and good luck getting home.  And James was in the back row of the bus!!

3.) Kids are allowed to say f#@k and s#!% in front of adults now??


This goes back to my question about what the job of "bus monitor" actually entails. Is it to enforce the school rules? Because if it is, this lady is not doing a very good job of it. Are kids now allowed to use foul language in front of adults??  When did that start?  When I was a kid we would use every swear word we knew. But only when we were sure there were no grown-ups around.  I remember getting swats one time from Coach Childers because he walked around a corner one time and heard me utter the word "damn".  Seriously.  3 swats for using "damn" (which I was quick to point out to Coach Childers was a word from the Bible , but it didn't do me any good). The real injustice was that during football practice, Coach Childers swore like a...like a...like a 7th grade football coach/social studies teacher. That's the only comparison that does him justice. The man was just that good.

So, just the salty language alone should have been enough for the bus monitor to exercise whatever authority comes with the position. That's not to mention the threats of violence and rape.  Seriously, what would have had to happen before the bus monitor did whatever it is a bus monitor gets paid to do?

4.) could she have exercised any kind of authority at all?

Why didn't she tell these little undescended pricks to sit down and shut up or face detention? Couldn't she have threatened to ban them from the bus?  So many of my questions come back to the central problem: why have an adult on the bus unless the adult is going to be able to exert some authority?

I just now, this minute, read that this lady, Karen Klein had been a bus driver for 20 years in the same school system. Maybe this "bus monitor" job was a way for her to keep drawing a check once she got too old to drive the bus anymore.  If that's the case, they should have just paid her to stay home and watch QVC because she's not accomplishing anything by being on the bus. Unless you count "helping aspiring douche-sticks hone their craft".

5.) Jesus, I've got to quit being such a pussy as a parent myself.

A recurring theme I keep hearing from people when talking about this video is "how awful the parents must be".   Who knows?  Maybe they thought they were doing an awesome job until they saw this video.  All I know is my daughter sasses back and refuses to do what I tell her to waaaaaay past the point that my parents would have hit me repeatedly with something near at hand and whip-like.  This video has changed my whole outlook on parenting, though.  No more Mr. Nice Guy.  There's no way my kid is going to be on Youtube acting this way. I'm going to make it very clear to her: Never leave any photographic evidence.