Why?


Bullies abound everywhere.  I was bullied when I was a kid.  My Dad was a judge and there were two kids in my High School who bullied me and one who tried very hard to hurt me.  My daughter was savagely bullied at school.  Her wheelchair was tipped over and she was left in the hall, with her feet pointing toward the ceiling. And that was nothing compared to most of her daily ordeal. The school officials blamed her. I had to get the federal government civil rights division involved. The school officials and superintendent of schools were absolute *ssholes, at best, lying manipulators who deserved an *ss kicking at worst. My eldest granddaughter has been bullied at school – physically assaulted, once hit over the head by a sumo wrestler sized girl wielding a chair.  What’s that about?

Deaf people are bullied all the time.  When I went to Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho and could sign at least some and had connections with the Deaf community. I helped Deaf folks with hearing people who were intransigent in their dealings with them.  I got one guy at the campus post office in real hot water with the Post Master because he thought I was Deaf too. I heard him laughing and telling his co-worker about how he was going to “screw with those dummies.”  I went ballistic on him verbally and thought he was literally going to wet his pants.  The daughter of a judge knows about Postmasters and what they can do.  I was hell on wheels.

Every day there are kids who end up so bullied they kill themselves.  They might be gay, they might be deaf, they might be physically or emotionally or intellectually disabled. They might be like Phoebe Prince from Ireland who came to the US and was bullied mercilessly until she killed herself.

Why then, is there such an uproar over one 68-year-old woman who is a bus monitor who can’t take the heat? Yes, she was bullied. She also put up with it.  She didn’t do her job – which is to keep order on the bus.  I swear to Buddha that Mr. Bernie, a Native American man, who drove our little country school bus with a bunch of rowdy farm kids, would have put those kids in their places Right Now!  He was a wonderful man and we loved him, but he would have never taken that kind of guff off anyone.  I’ve seen him set kids right and he put more than one of them off the bus for behavior unbecoming a human being.  Their parents had to drive them to a country school for the rest of the year.

Where, pray tell, are the trust funds for the millions of kids and adults who are bullied every day?  Why are we not raising half a million dollars for every person we think is a victim of bullying?

I don’t resent this individual nor the money people are donating to someone who can’t do their job, I merely observe that she was a doormat who allowed these kids to run over the top of her. Now the kids are out of school a year (which is appropriate) and not able to be on a bus (which is also appropriate), but if she’d maintained control instead of sitting there and crying, those kids would be in school and on a bus. Plus, it does nothing to stop all the other bullying incidents going on. What it does do is teach us that being a doormat can be lucrative if someone puts it on youtube and you can be an appealing victim.

I admit it, I have heartburn with this individual getting rewarded for not doing her job.  It is not personal since I’d get heartburn over anyone who got rewarded not doing a difficult and thankless job, but their job, nonetheless.  I’ve represented school bus monitors during my time with the union and it is not an easy job, but countless thousands of other bus monitors do a great job and never go through incidents like this because they have self-respect, dignity, and the gumption to deal with difficult situations.  I applaud all school bus monitors who do an underpaid, thankless job and do it well.   Bless you for your service to our kids and grandkids!

I have heartburn with people treating her like a hero.  She’s not  I don’t want someone like that on a bus with my grandkids because if she can’t stand the heat then she can’t take care of the other kids.  I don’t want a doormat on a bus, I want Tony the Tiger on the bus.  As an example, when my kid was bullied (bruised) by a school bus driver in Fairbanks, Alaska (there was no bus monitor) because she walked too slow (she has a form of MD) she turned on him and said, “My Mom’s a child protection worker and you’re in big trouble!  She’s going to track you down and get you!”  Or words to that effect.  She must have scared the bejesus out of him because instead of injuring her more, he abandoned the bus full of kids (it was cold out), went home, packed his things, and left town.  I assume he was someone with a record.

She was right – I went gonzo.  After I told her to never say something like that again (because a whacko might seriously injure her) I went to the police. There was an arrest warrant issued. But even more, I found out where he lived and I went there. She was right – I tracked him down. He was already gone.   What would I have done?  I’m not sure, probably ranted and raved at him, for starters, as well as telling him I’d see him in jail and out of a job if it was the last thing I did.  However, if I was the monitor on the bus when the driver had abused a child, I’d have protected that child from him the same way I’d have protected that child from another child – or protected myself.  It is my job to be responsible for my conduct and my Momma never raised no doormats.  I’m only a few years younger than the woman who made the news.

I still want to know why! 

Why give someone $700,000 for crying and not being a good school bus monitor when we don’t do this for all the other bullied people in the world?  What makes her so special?  Why not my kid?  My grandkid? All the other people in the world?  Just youtube?  Really?

I’m sure this is not a popular stance.  I really don’t care.  I’ve thought about it a lot.  Reward people for the good they do, not for their inability to do their work or their ability to be a victim.  We honor the firemen who fell at 9/11, not the ones who were too afraid to go in the buildings.  If you want to feel sorry for people, I can develop a list of folks you can give money to.

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