Sunflower Skins

July 2, 2012

Guam Bullies, Gets Bullied

Filed under: art, editorials — Tags: , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 8:48 pm

These comics are inspired by recent events in New York, by which an elderly bus monitor was bullied by some seventh graders. Instead of doing her job or alerting the bus driver, Karen Klein allowed herself to be videotaped and tormented for almost 10 minutes, and when the video went viral, a crowd of do-gooders decided to raise a $667,000 for this “poor woman” to retire. Everyone across the country claims, “Nice story,” but the reality is: Klein rejects apologies from the “bullies,” accepts an absurd amount of money without thinking twice, sees a YEAR-LONG SUSPENSION as just punishment, and allows minors to face a life-time of harassment both in real life and online. They will never live it down; worse, they probably haven’t learned much from the situation other than that they are worthless and without hope of rehabilitation. Sunflower Skins does not condone bullying or any type of harassment, nor do we think that the seventh graders should go without punishment for verbal abuse; however we feel that the onslaught of outrage against these kids, ostracising them to the point of alienation, is completely disproportionate—especially from an adult who should have known how to handle the situation better from the start. Suspension for extreme misconduct on school grounds or during school-related activities (eg. on a school bus) is a legitimate response, but removing these kids from their social and academic lives for an entire year is obscene. Karen Klein shouldn’t accept that money, or maybe she should and donate all of it to local youth mental health services. Her “adult” actions in retaliation against a group of minors sicken us. Don’t make an example of these kids just to appease your own conscience; bullying roots reach far deeper than this Band-Aid.

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