I am sure by now most of you have heard about the middle school kids who tormented and bullied Karen Klein, the bus monitor from New York (then posted their vile bahvior on YouTube).
I caught a few seconds of the video and was literally sick to my stomach. It was one of the most heartbreaking displays of ugliness I have ever seen…
The child-bullies are despicable and I just want to grab their parents and ask:
What’s wrong with you? How did you raise such disgusting kids?
But more than that…
and the thing I can’t quite shake - is the question of what were all the other kids doing while this attack was going on. How did no other child on that bus stand up for someone in need? (Maybe they were unaware of what was going on….but what if that wasn’t the case).
Now that I have a daughter, I look at situations like this through an entirely new lens. I can’t help but wonder, what would my little girl have done if she were on the bus that day. I know how I hope she would have reacted.
As a parent, I believe it is my responsibility to raise a good little person,
a child with an open heart and moral compass, who willingly picks kindness over cruelty….
but more than that even, I need to make sure I give Hazel (and her sister-to-be) the confidence or skills or whatever it is that they need to stand-up to the bullies of the world.
To do something (say something) when things aren’t right.
When they are old enough, I will share this story with my girls (as well as the happier epilogue about the outpouring of support - and donations- Karen received from thousands of strangers around the world). As I tell them about Karen Klein, I’ll ask them their thoughts on humanity, responsibility and complicity
and remind them that:
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men [children] do nothing." -Edmund Burke
That seems like a conversation that needs to be had, no?