Here’s the big week-ending question: Is America prepared to hug it out? NBC reports that three of the four bullies who viciously taunted an elderly bus monitor have sent statements apologizing for their actions, including the one who posted the videos. But are they doing this out of sincere regret, or because they’ve suddenly discovered how it feels when the shoe is on the other foot?
My friend Amy Alkon is less than impressed, as the title of her post indicates — “Little S**ts Say They’re Sorry to Bullied Bus Monitor.” It also seems a little less than sincere when the written statements transmitted to Karen Klein by the police — rather than a face-to-face apology, at least at the moment — coincide with their own complaints about suddenly becoming victims of bullying and threats themselves. The police are investigating those threats, as they should be, but it does call into question whether the apologies come from actual remorse or a sense of self-preservation. The whole Lord of the Flies vibe makes me think it’s the latter, but I certainly hope that it’s the former.
Klein, meanwhile, remains gracious while suddenly experiencing a burst of unexpected celebrity. She won’t press charges against the kids, but understandably doesn’t want them riding the bus for a while, nor participating in team sports. The school is promising “strong disciplinary action” against the students. We’ll see. Meanwhile, for those who take their anger over this bullying incident and translate it into more bullying, let’s revisit this clip from South Park Studios. Nothing wrong with criticism and a little shunning, people, but let’s get a grip, mm-kay?