A few days ago, four 7th grade boys mounted a verbal assault against their 68-year-old bus monitor. Someone captured the sad event on a cell phone video that’s gone viral. Karen Klein’s ill-treatment has sparked international outrage. Nearly a half million dollars has been raised to send this grandmother on the vacation she deserves.

People treating other people badly for their own entertainment is not new.

I’ve spent the past few days digging into a favorite pastime of third century Romans… the gladiator games. That ancient civilization loved to pit the weak against the strong. They thought the bloodshed of innocents a great sport.

Lynne demonstrating a costume a Roman aristocrat might have worn to the games.

Watching Karen defend herself in this video reminded me of the defenseless men and women trapped in the arena as the laughing masses looked on and did nothing.

Note Karen’s body language (warning the video is tough to watch). At first, this seasoned grandmother tries to ignore the taunts, but her body language tells you even the first strike landed a painful blow. She lifts her chin, crosses her arms over her core, and turns her head away from the onslaught. As the jabs continue, wounding deeper with each thrust, being trapped between the seats becomes more unbearable. She offers quick, short, controlled verbal responses. But she’s pushed into a corner and can’t get out. She rubs her eyes, and then her face. She grabs the seat for support. Eventually, she cannot restrain the tears.

Don’t you just want to stop the bus and let some teenagers have it? I’m sure there were other kids on the bus who felt the same way I do. Maybe even the bus driver. Then why didn’t they do anything?

Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

The human response to evil fascinates me. My stories investigate why some people run from trouble and why others find unfathomable courage, throw back their shoulders, and stare it down.

What would you have done if you’d been on the bus with Karen?

About lynnegentry

Wife. Mother. Writer. Acting Coach. Director of Dallas International Performing Arts Academy.
This entry was posted in Be Inspired, Body Language and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to BULLIED

  1. Julie Marx says:

    (And we still don’t believe there’s connection between removing God and the biblical values from our schools and today’s deprived publik skules?) Had I been there, I could only hope I wouldn’t have gotten violent with some of those kids. I do admire Karen’s strong response and the mercy she showed in not pressing charges or something along those lines.

  2. Lynne Gentry says:

    Showing mercy … excellent concept, Julie.

  3. Lisa Harris says:

    I love your last paragraph, because the concept fascinates me as well. I want to be the one who runs ahead with courage in the face of adversity like my own characters (the good guys anyway.) The ordinary person doing the extraordinary. Hard to imagine, though, going through something like that and not wanting to fight back. There seems to be a delicate balance between mercy and courage standing up for what is right.

  4. Lynne Gentry says:

    You’re one of the bravest people I know, Lisa. I think she showed remarkable courage. I also think she kept in mind that she was the adult and did not stoop to their adolescent level.

  5. Julie Garmon says:

    Powerful post, Lynne. I watched it, then read your words carefully. You’re right. So much is revealed in her body language. And then her response when interviewed–that’s when I teared up.

    • lynnegentry says:

      So much can be learned fron this brave woman: courage, mercy, how to keep your cool under fire. I think that when we persecute the characters in our stories, we’d do well to take a few body language lessons from her.

  6. Rick Antwine says:

    Thanks for a timely article.

  7. Jane Thornton says:

    You have such an observant eye and wise heart – thanks for sharing!

  8. I felt awful after watching that video, but I am glad that Karen Klein is getting somewhat of a happy ending. I think she deserves it and I’m glad that she is donating some of that money to charity and good causes. I wrote an article yesterday about her story and the power of the Internet and social media. Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out:



    • lynnegentry says:

      Casey thanks for stopping by. I read your article and would encourage my followers to pop over to your site as well. Good to see that there is some justice in the world, right?

Leave a Reply to caseykurlander Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s