Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Random Article: School Bus Monitor Bullying

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Here is an article I wrote when that whole school bus monitor thing was in the news. I think I wrote this in June. Thought I'd share to get some critical feedback. Any feedback is great. I wrote this piece for a hippy rag.

---

When most people watch the Bullied Bus Monitor video, their immediate reaction is outrage.

Outrage over the wanton cruelty on display, and the casually sadistic manner in which they reduce a Grandmother to tears. Outrage over the audacity of the bullies, one of whom asks another, “Are you gonna put this on Facebook?” Outrage over the kind of world that can produce such self-entitled monsters.

Outrage, outrage, outrage.

When I watch this video, I see something much worse than terrible kids: I see myself.

I made fun of people for wearing secondhand clothing. I made fun of people for being fat, at one point driving a girl to lay a smackdown on my undeveloped, skinny-alien-body in the hallway. I made fun of people because it was amusing at the time, and truth be told, I liked it. The worst part of this video, for me, isn't how “outraged” I am, but how vividly it brought back what it was like to be a kid, stupid, reckless, awful.

The question is, can a person change, or are they doomed to being an asshole forever?

Are all bullies condemned to a life of yelling at secretaries, beating up protestors or stomping a person who cheers for the wrong soccer team? For my sake, and for the sake of those kids, I hope not.

I think about all the mean and cruel things I did in my turbulent years, and I thank Flying Spaghetti Monster everyday that cellphones didn't exist to capture them.

I guess it isn't enough for these kids to be humiliated on a local level. Our society is so highly-evolved that we need to flog them in front of a couple hundred million people, and feel good about it. Our self-righteousness, expressed in money, is commendable. Already the bus monitor is $600,000 richer. It's nice to see somebody finally making some cash these days, and honestly she deserves it.

But when they interview her, you can tell she is flabbergasted at the attention – and the money – she is receiving. And for good reason. The whole situation is a classic misdirect, a way to release pressure without actually fixing the problem. A couple hundred years ago, we would have just burned some Jews or some lesbians. Nowadays, we roast ten year old kids with cell phone signals and electronic bank transfers.

The debate about why kids are growing up so cruel is ongoing, and that's because it is comforting to avoid the simplest and truest explanation: the most successful form of bully is reborn as a “CEO” or “Prime Minister.” In terms of lofty ideals, the best we've managed in five thousand years is when we call six people bullying four “democracy,” and deem it an inalienable right. We are all bullies, and all bullies are cowards.

It is hard to stand up for awful kids who probably deserve a swift backhand, but I wonder if the compassion we all felt seeing this video ought to be followed by forgiveness, and not by outrage. I can't excuse the bad things I've done, but I am thankful everyday for those who excused them for me.

Edited by Justin Benner
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think stories like this show the pack like mentality of obviously undisciplined children(by undisciplined I don't mean in the sense of authoratarian nature, more along the lines of self discipline and self respect). They act and defy accepted social norms of behaviour seemingly for the thrill of doing just that. That type of behaviour shows a total lack of critical thinking, is any consideration giving to what if any consequences may be endured at the end of the bus ride? Why does it seem like the participants don't care what may happen in say the next ten minutes? Is it because they are fairly sure nothing detrimental will happen, is this their past experience? Perhaps.

I doubt this was a video of home schooled children going on a field trip organized by a group of seperate home schooling parents saving money by renting a bus, nor does it appear to be a group of students from an academy that screens applicants. Pretty sure this was footage from a public school bus in anytown USA.

Edited by tadmjones
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's an old story, but I'm pretty sure the woman being bullied was collecting a salary for the job of supervising these kids. So she was suffering the effects of her own failure (and the failure of people like her, and the system they are a part of).

As for the OP's question, I think Lord of the Flies is spot on. If you're gonna let any group of children form a pack, without any adult input or supervision, horrible things are bound to happen.

No children are equipped to live moral lives on their own, they all need adult guidance. Blaming the children is idiotic. And yes, even if you grow up like that, once an adult, you can start re-evaluating your values and change yourself.

the most successful form of bully is reborn as a “CEO” or “Prime Minister.”

I nominate this for Unsupported Claim of the Thread. Being a CEO or Prime Minister has absolutely nothing to do with bullying people.

There's nothing of value in being a bully. Not as a child, and not as an adult. If you were a bully, and your goal is to become a CEO or a Prime Minister, my main advice is to start working on yourself, identify the values you hold that cause you to be a bully and an asshole, and change them. Otherwise, you're going to achieve nothing. No one will want to work for you, let alone vote for you.

Edited by Nicky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's an old story, but I'm pretty sure the woman being bullied was collecting a salary for the job of supervising these kids. So she was suffering the effects of her own failure (and the failure of people like her, and the system they are a part of).

As for the OP's question, I think Lord of the Flies is spot on. If you're gonna let any group of children form a pack, without any adult input or supervision, horrible things are bound to happen.

No children are equipped to live moral lives on their own, they all need adult guidance. Blaming the children is idiotic. And yes, even if you grow up like that, once an adult, you can start re-evaluating your values and change yourself.

I nominate this for Unsupported Claim of the Thread. Being a CEO or Prime Minister has absolutely nothing to do with bullying people.

There's nothing of value in being a bully. Not as a child, and not as an adult. If you were a bully, and your goal is to become a CEO or a Prime Minister, my main advice is to start working on yourself, identify the values you hold that cause you to be a bully and an asshole, and change them. Otherwise, you're going to achieve nothing. No one will want to work for you, let alone vote for you.

I would add not only without adult supervision, but without supervision by an adult that is at all concerned or cognizant of the fact that childern need to be guided toward developing respect for themselves and others.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's an old story, but I'm pretty sure the woman being bullied was collecting a salary for the job of supervising these kids. So she was suffering the effects of her own failure (and the failure of people like her, and the system they are a part of).

As for the OP's question, I think Lord of the Flies is spot on. If you're gonna let any group of children form a pack, without any adult input or supervision, horrible things are bound to happen.

No children are equipped to live moral lives on their own, they all need adult guidance. Blaming the children is idiotic. And yes, even if you grow up like that, once an adult, you can start re-evaluating your values and change yourself.

I nominate this for Unsupported Claim of the Thread. Being a CEO or Prime Minister has absolutely nothing to do with bullying people.

There's nothing of value in being a bully. Not as a child, and not as an adult. If you were a bully, and your goal is to become a CEO or a Prime Minister, my main advice is to start working on yourself, identify the values you hold that cause you to be a bully and an asshole, and change them. Otherwise, you're going to achieve nothing. No one will want to work for you, let alone vote for you.

As an anecdote, I work at a golf course part time. I know a few business executives and other one percenter types.. I have never been buillied by any of them.. They are all really nice actually. I even got christmas money from some of them. Most bullies I have met were teachers, cops, and small business owners. The one bully at my work is a retail manager who everyone hates. Being belligerent seems to decrease the likelyhood that you are going succeed where I live.

Edited by Hairnet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...