No doubt folks have already seen the video posted on Youtube this spring where a group of Middle School students in NY bullied their bus monitor, Karen Klein.  If you haven't, you'll find the video here(Although, be warned: it's deeply troubling; this blogger only made it through about 10 seconds of the 10 minute video.)

It isn't enough to discuss appropriate discipline for these children: we must also try to understand the "hows" and "whys," and an excellent blog by John M Grohol, PsyD, discusses the psychology surrounding the incident.  Although Grohol neglects to mention a central issue -- sin -- his explanation sheds light on bullying and the perfect storm that could occur when the following factors are mixed together:

  • disappearing values (such as respect for the vulnerable, adults, and senior citizens);
  • a lack of discipline and personal responsibility from parents;
  • mob mentality;
  • environments with insufficient adult supervision; and
  • adult supervisors that are neither properly equipped -- nor adequately empowered -- to enact swift, appropriate discipline.
We are thrilled with the generosity of folks donating to help give her a vacation and a retirement: we just wish it hadn't come to that.

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