The Kids Who Bullied Their School Bus Monitor Shouldn’t be Punished: Nelson

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Young bullies may be acting out due to their own “need for a sense of significance and belonging“, but they have to accept responsibility for their actions. The children who bullied their school bus monitor acted completely inappropriately and deserve far more than “positive discipline”:

The New York middle school students caught on video taunting and mocking a 68-year-old school bus monitor don’t deserve to be punished, says parenting expert Jane Nelson.

Everyone else in America might be calling for harsh, swift justice to be meted out by both the Greece Central School District and the parents of the kids involved. But not Nelson.

Co-author of two dozen parenting books including the “Positive Discipline” series, Nelson says the traditional means of punishment — yelling, shaming, hitting, grounding, etc. — are counterproductive.

“I think to go after these kids in a punitive way, it just doesn’t help,” she said. Nelson knows that the vast majority of parents will scoff both at that notion — and at her belief that the young bullies are merely acting out due to their own “need for a sense of significance and belonging.”


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3 Responses to “The Kids Who Bullied Their School Bus Monitor Shouldn’t be Punished: Nelson”

  1. John Tapscott Says:

    What do we know about what preceded this unacceptable behaviour? My knee-jerk response is that these kids need a good kick in the backside. Further reflection calls for a more proactive response in terms of teaching these children about bullying and its unacceptability. Sure, sanctions are called for. Before anyone can make a intelligent response to this story much more information needs to be forthcoming.

    I am thinking of a 13 year old girl who threw a garbage bin lid at a deputy principal. On the face of it one could say that the girl needed to be dealt with severely. Learning that the girl had been subjected to sustained bullying from the deputy principal outs a new light on the incident. Further learning that the girl came from another town where she was living with her mother and siblings, adds more light.

    Learning that the girl’s mother was an alcoholic and out of it most of the time and that her father was never around adds further light. Add to that the information that this young girl took responsibility for taking care of her younger siblings, in terms of feeding, clothing and getting to school, starts to tell a different story.

    My involvement with this child began when she was referred to my reintegration program, after being suspended for a few days for the garbage bin lid throwing episode. What I found was a pleasant, well-mannered child who showed respect to me and my teachers aide and made an honest effort to follow the program we had set up for her.

    As for the deputy principal, her main management strategy was to bully staff and students alike in order to get her way.

    There is no excuse for anyone to act like a bully, whether student, teacher or management. It’s important to deal with each incident. How each incident is best dealt with requires as much information as possible.

  2. rubberchickensociety Says:

    Karen Klein wasn’t doing her job. Discipline the kids, but fire the bus monitor. You can read more about it here: At least K.K. is getting a nice vacation out of it! Keep on rockin’!

  3. Leanne Says:

    What the heck was up with those kids?????!!!!! They’d better watch their mouthes before they speak from now on!!!! Not to say I’ve never done anything like that (I have). I have Asperger Syndrome (high-functioning end of Autism spectrum), so I don’t understand social situations as well as most “Neurotypical” people, and have more difficulty thinking about other peoples’ feelings. when I think about those kids who were bullying their bus monitor, I wonder if some of those kids might’ve had Asperger Syndrome (or another mild form of Autism such as PDD-NOS).

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