Posted: Jun 22, 2012 3:14 PM by Erin Steuber
Updated: Jun 22, 2012 6:02 PM
Should your children watch the viral video of the New York school bus monitor being bullied, to show them how words can hurt? The video shows 68-year-old Karen Klein sitting alone as middle school students verbally abuse her, to the point of tears. Students using profanity, calling her fat and ugly, even poking the woman. An outpouring of support from generous strangers, to send Klein on a vacation, has raised enough for a permanent vacation. The goal was $5,000, but the fund has swelled to more than $500,000.
Family counselor, and therapist, Pat Wilson suggests parents use the situation as a learning tool. Talk about what happened without the video. He says the language isn't appropriate for children under 18.
"Let the children come out with what their current thinking is ,and maybe then the parents can help them towards thinking bullying is not acceptable," said J. Patrick Wilson.
No students on the bus, nor bus monitor Karen Klein, reported the incident. But Wilson says it's paramount to report bullying. If society doesn't take action, children take matters into their own hands, which he says can turn violent.
"A myth I hear a lot is it was self defense," said Wilson. "We hear that from adults, I hear it from kids. If someone walks past me, and bumps into me, and keeps walking past me, and I turn around, and in anger, go after him or her and slap them, or hit them, that is not self defense, I'm the aggressor."
Parents could prevent bullying by paying attention to Facebook and text messages. Having passwords to monitor their child's social interactions.
"Kids might fight it, and there are a number of parents who say 'no I shouldn't thats private, I shouldn't be going in there,'" said Wilson. "I disagree. We have to monitor that closely. By our getting more and more involved, we may save a life."