We have reached a very sad place in American society. What would have been unheard of when I was a child (less than 25 years ago) is now one of the hot topics of the week. Not only is the topic being discussed, there is actually a video of the event- an adult being bullied by kids. An even sadder part of the story is that it was not the adult that posted the video, it was the teenagers that committed this heinous act that posted it, bragging about what they had done.
If you have not seen the video, and want to know what is going on, here is the video. (For full disclosure, I must admit that I cannot bring myself to watch the actual video, but have heard and read numerous reports on the details of what is actually shown.)
As the DailyDot puts it:
A group of teens in Greece, N.Y. became Internet celebrities for all the wrong reasons yesterday after a video that showed them harassing Karen Klein, a bus monitor, surfaced on YouTube. The bullying was vile, nasty, and hard to watch.
When I first read the article yesterday, my heart went out to Ms. Klein. Today, we hear her side of the story. The anger that I felt yesterday is even more intense today, after hearing from her personally.
In an article at thedailywh.at, this is what Ms. Klein had to say about the event:
What was Klein thinking as the juvenile delinquents berated her Monday?
Something about me being so fat and ugly your kids probably should commit suicide. I don’t think they knew my son had… I wanted to punch them is what I wanted to do. So that’s why I laid back, tried to ignore it. Because I really wanted to hurt them, you know?
Just ten years ago, her son took his life, and here are these kids taunting her that this is what she should do. She tried to ignore it. She tried.
Personally, this hit home. A little more than 11 years ago my husband took his own life. She said she wanted to “punch them”. I wasn’t the one being berated, and I want to punch them now! I want to hear from the parents of these teenagers! How are they going to be disciplined for this? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the parents actually defend the actions of these teenagers!
When I was growing up, if I had participated in something like this, I most certainly would not have been brave enough to post it somewhere bragging about it! However, I would never have dreamed of doing something like this! I was not the most innocent of children, yet I was raised to respect other people, and with no question, respect your elders! When I did step out of line with disrespect towards others I was disciplined, as I should have been!
However, in a day and age where “disciplining” a child is perceived as “abuse”, it is quite possible that the parents of these teenagers will see nothing wrong with their actions. It very well may be the case that the parents will defend their children’s right to “free speech”, rather than disciplining them appropriately. I hope this is not the case, but society has taught me not to expect any differently.
** Update: **
In an interview this morning on Good Morning America, Robert Helm, the father of one of the boys has responded, saying:
“My heart broke. I couldn’t believe my son could treat another human being like that.”
He goes on to say that his son “now knows he was wrong”, saying it was a “stupid mistake” and that his son is “paying for it”, and believes his son’s image out all over the internet is punishment enough. Mr. Helm’s son did not know that this kind of behavior was wrong before? He now realizes it? Just as I expected, it doesn’t seem as though there will be any real discipline delivered to this boy. Though he is not saying it is OK what his son has done, Mr. Helm said he believes having it aired on the internet for the entire world to see is punishment enough. You have got to be kidding me! These kids posted the video themselves! This was not punishment, they were reveling in their vileness!
Unfortunately, the family has received death threats, as the family’s information was put out online. While I do not agree with the death threats, this man is not doing his son any favors by thinking this is “punishment enough”!
Proverbs 13:24 is very clear:
“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
America was founded on Biblical truth, yet in today’s America, we have forgotten the cornerstone of truth. We no longer live our day-to-day lives on these Truths, but rather reject the Bible for “politically correct” parenting. In today’s society, to spank a child is, in many places, actually against the law. Discipline is not “politically correct”. Instead, so often the child is allowed to get his or her own way, and the parent tries to be a “friend” rather than a parent. The end result? Karen Klein is the recipient of the end result of modern parenting in America. Can we really expect anything different?
Thankfully, the story doesn’t end here. Again, quoting the DailyDot:
But the viral video wasn’t the end of the story. The Internet rallied around Klein, and within 24 hours had raised more than $150,000 for her.
Again, I ask the question… What do we expect, America? If you are not taught to respect your elders, and that there are consequences for your actions, what do we expect? Many of the youth today are simply a product of politically correct parenting.
However, we do have hope in our future, as represented here by a very young group of Marines. The actual video has been removed by the person who posted it, but this is a screenshot of those young men:
God bless these young men, and all who have supported Karen Klein! I hope she enjoys her vacation of a lifetime! She most certainly deserves it!