Regina teenagers react to viral bullying video
Kids can be mean but many believe a viral video circulating online this week shows kids at their absolute worst.
The video was taken on a cellphone on a school bus in upstate New York. It shows a group of four grade seven students bullying their 68-year-old bus monitor until she cries.
"You're so fat you take up the whole entire seat. Oh my God you're glasses are all foggy from your friggen sweat you fat ass. Dude put those glasses back on I can't stand looking at your face."
Those comments aren't even close to the worst the kids dish out. As the harrassment goes on for ten minutes they start poking her and saying if they stabbed her with a knife it would just cut through fat. Klein makes a few attempts to tell them if they don't have anything nice to say they shouldn't say anything at all but eventually she starts to cry.
"You don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they didn't want to be near you," one boy said while another asked why she was looking at them that way.
In media interviews after the fact, Klein admitted that comment hurt the worst because her son committed suicide years ago.
As the video went viral it sparked outrage from many watching it. From New York to Saskatchewan people responded saying that kids have no respect and they should be punished.
In Regina we went out to talk to teenagers outside Miller high school to find out what they thought. Only one had actually seen the video and he was angry too.
"It's a complete waste of anybody's time and you should just get rid of them," he said, meaning those responsible. "Throw them in juvy or something."
When they heard what happened in the video most were shocked at how bad it was.
"I've never seen anything like that, that's horrible," one girl said.
Another commented that they should be charged with harassment because it is against the law.
Most didn't think kids close to their age would go so far as to make an older woman cry. When asked if it could happen here, there was a mixed response.
"I hope not," one girl said but her friends admitted it was a possibility.
"No one's really that bad of a person around here," a boy said.
"I don't know it could there's some not very nice people at our school," one girl commented.
Another said she knew at least one boy who was really rude to teachers.
Most of the teens agreed that some kids still have respect for their elders and people in authority but say it's getting more rare.
"Even on the city bus all the kids yell things out of the bus windows at people walking down the street," another girl said.
Several said they couldn't explain why some kids are so mean or rude but maintained that not everyone is like that.
"They don't really respect their opinions and they're not really that kind to them."
Despite all the attention to bullying in schools right now, one girl admitted that people call each other fat or ugly all the time but she says people shouldn't take it seriously.
At least some of the lessons on bullying are sinking in, according to one boy in grade nine who said the boy taking the video on the bus should have stopped it.
"People are scared to stand up so you just need one person and other people will join," he said.
Only a few days after the video first appeared, the victim is now getting a very different kind of attention with messages of support pouring in from across the continent. A campaign started by a Toronto business man to send her on a vacation has now made over $400,000.
Klein has also spoken out saying that she doesn't want the kids responsible to be charged.