THE SAVAGES ON THE BUS
Pit bulls used to be just dogs.
Now they are also children.
And across our computer screens yesterday morning a pack of them attacked and mauled a bus monitor.
A little grandmother, near 70, watching over them on one of the year’s last school days.
They didn’t punch her or kick her or stab her with their knives. But they broke her heart and they enraged a nation and as mushrooming hundreds of thousands see what they did, the horror and the rage are universal.
The little bastards.
Little savage bastards.
They mocked her age and her weight, dropped the f-bomb scores of times, called her ugly and “a troll,” and left her with tears streaming down her face.
Seventh-grade dogs in violation of the leash law.
Every bit of civilization and civility thrown out the window of a hot and rolling school bus, another proud demonstration of exactly how bad things can get.
Or a jarring suggestion that we don’t know how bad things are.
Was this exception, or rule? Was it a spontaneous outbreak of bad behavior, or was it just the way they roll?
In the era of the camera phone and Facebook, in a valueless microsociety, the jackals post video of themselves attacking the gazelles at the watering hole.
Yesterday we didn’t know who that bus monitor was. Today she is on CNN.
And we are all on that bus.
Being taken on a tour of the dark side, the place where “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” are unknown and unlived. Where respect for one’s elders and regard for others feelings are meaningless and dead.
We wept for her, we raged at them, we wondered how it could be, we wished her son or grandson could storm onto the bus and settle the score with those savage little pukes.
We hoped it ended with them in the backseat of a cop car, held to account for the evil they’d done, given one last chance to learn, the hard way, how people should and shouldn’t act.
Across the nation we wondered about their homes, and what sort of “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” ugliness we would find there. Were these the product of the dysfunction that passes for “family” in too much of our society, or were these free agents who had veered from sound foundations into the savagery of the urban street?
Only this wasn’t the urban street.
This was a suburban school bus. This was a lady who had driven school bus for 20 years, and was in her third as a monitor, and says she will be back for a fourth. This was a big yellow piece of the American dream, a free education, taking “the children are our future” home on a warm spring day.
When all hell broke loose.
Again and some more.
Because there was more than one video, and there was more than one day, and though the rest of the students are angry at this embarrassment of their school, nobody was angry enough to stop this, or nip it in the bud, or recognize its sewer stench as a part of their community.
What’s doubly troubling is the fact that she was the monitor, she was the person put on the bus to keep this from happening, she was the defense against this savagery. And she was powerless to protect herself from it.
Or even punish it when it happened.
Had the idiots involved not Facebooked their exploits, the school administration would have been happily oblivious to this. This monitor was beaten down not just by the taunts of a pack of savages, but seemingly by a system that allowed such taunts and savages to run free.
The video of that attack is an indictment of the monsters involved, and of the system that failed to control and punish them. That degree of insolence and savagery doesn’t appear in full flower out of nowhere, it putrefies and metastasizes over time. Like weeds in a garden, bad conduct flourishes when it is unchecked, when its first signs are not challenged and punished. Small evils grow to large evils, and dogs run wild where they feel free.
And a group of American seventh-graders felt no compunction whatsoever about ganging up on the elderly grandmother sent to protect them. They acted with impunity because they knew they could act with impunity.
The countless offenses and insults of their defective upbringing never elicited the condemnation or punishment they deserved, and so they compounded and cascaded into this national scandal of savagery.
Which happened more than once.
The police weren’t called, the administration wasn’t told, the bus wasn’t pulled over and the miscreants put off.
Because the lunatics run the asylum.
The rage of entitled children and advocating parents is unquestioned and unchecked in the modern school system. And a beaten down woman figured it was better to take the taunts of social defectives than to run the risk of rocking the administrative boat.
The school leaders will announce today what punishment the students will face.
They should also announce what changes they will make. Because that video is proof that what they’re doing now doesn’t work.
The schools can’t control what type of pit bulls modern homes send to be educated, but they can keep them on a leash.
And they better start doing it.
Because that monitor was one tiny piece of a similar savagery that accosts students, teachers and bus drivers every day.
All across this country.
That’s what we pretend we don’t know.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2012