I’m sure you’ve heard the story already. It’s been all over the news and the internet. It’s a story about a 68-year-old bus monitor who was bullied to the point of tears by the words and actions of some middle school boys.

If you haven’t heard about it, you can get caught up here.

In hearing the story and watching the video, several things stick out to me: Complete disrespect for elders; a lack of moral compass; the sheer helplessness of adults when it comes to out of control kids; fear that if anyone stands up for this poor woman, they’ll become the next target.

People across the country are livid – and rightfully so. Karen Klein, the bus monitor, was interviewed on Today by Matt Lauer. I’ve never seen him so angry before!

But I’ve also noticed a lot of finger pointing. Even though the content of these boys’ taunts would be deemed “mature/adult content,” they’re still kids. Children don’t naturally develop hate – these things are taught.

So the big question is: Who do we blame?

Here are a few brief observations:

  • Many kids are going to school after their parents leave for work and return to an empty house.
  • Including school days, bus rides, and ball practice, the VAST majority of a child’s daily interaction is with that of his/her peers – 8 to 10 hours every day – with little adult interaction.
  • Schools are not allowed to teach morality.
  • Fewer and fewer children are a part of a faith community – because their parents aren’t going, either.
  • When they watch TV they see “reality” shows that supposedly portray adults in real life (e.g. Jersey Shore) – full of arguing, name calling, bullying, and flat out disgusting behavior.
  • Then they flip over to Disney or Nickelodeon where the mean kids are the heroes and the parents are blubbering idiots.
  • Then they play video games loaded with violence and foul language – even trash talking other players in real time.
  • Then they get on the internet where they can have further freedom to say and do whatever they want without consequence.

And then something like this happens and we’re shocked. I’m almost even more shocked that this isn’t happening more often.

Yes, it’s up to parents to raise their kids. But it’s up to other adults to help. I’m tired of the narrow minded loudmouths who keep touting “Free Speech!” in any and all circumstances to the detriment of our youth. I’m sick of the government building up these glass walls between adults and students. Teachers and authority figures shouldn’t have to be afraid to discipline students! And surprise – children need discipline.

How many more Karen Kleins have to be harassed, bullied, threatened, and brought to tears by some middle school punks for us to wake up and realize that what we’re doing isn’t working??