Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bus Monitor Abused By Teens Over Her Weight And More

This has made the rounds online...

A bus monitor is abused by high school students for her weight, her age and everything nasty these kids can think of. They reduce her to tears while they show themselves to be devoid of normal human compassion and or conscience. This is very troubling. The fat hatred is horrible, so am going to warn anyone who may be triggered by that.


Middle schoolers bully bus monitor, 68, with stream of profanity, jeers

School bus monitor, 68, who was mercilessly bullied by pupils in internet video says she won't press charges... as donations from well-wishers reach $330,000

This one affected me personally...I do not want to make this post all about me, but I was so horrified by the above. It hit me right where it hurts based on 16 year old memories. Even if one stays professional, and does everything "correctly", words take a toll. This is one facet of obesity no one talks about. How it affects those who work in certain fields, especially in education and working with young people.

I underwent severe abuse, when I had my weight gain and even earlier at times when I was in the mid sized category. Back in the 1990s, I had worked as an art teacher at a juvenile home, that job went well most of the time, where the young people treated me with respect the majority of the time and even thanked me years later. The only time that didn't happen was dealing with nasty coworkers, such as the one who called me a "big blueberry" for wearing blue clothes in front of my students trying to undermine my authority. I remember what I did that day, I wiped my arm across the table and art supplies went flying at him at the table he was sitting at alone. We had childcare workers in every classroom because these were incarcerated youth, some who had been guilty of things even as drastic as armed robberies and assault. I got written up but I can't say I regret it. Some of my co-workers understood. Working with the kind of clients I worked with, they did not hire people of timid personalities to do that kind of work.

At the same time, this job would end due to a grant ending, acouple years after that incident and I would move on to residential care after a year of underemployment piecing together jobs like factory work, fast food work, and substitute teaching.

At this new job, our clients were troubled female youth with a history of severe violence. When I had my weight gain while at this job and got heavier and heavier, things got very bad for me. Co-workers even that weighed in the 200s themselves would mock me in front of the students. I had one boss say something so horrible to me, that to this day, I regret not suing over it. One thing that was started against me, that was beyond horrible, was being told "I smelled". Later I would learn this can happen to very fat women. I showered every day, and always wore freshly laundered clothes but that did not matter.

One horrible thing I remember is being called "baldy head" by two co-workers in front of at least three clients. I was losing my hair you see from the thyroid disease that was not being dealt with. I had the majority of my 400lb weight gain while I was at that job. I think of the day, one of the 300lb clients smashed down a locked! door to get at the kitchen knives. We kept the kitchen knives locked in the office between cooking times. For those who doubt the sometimes super-human displays of strength, that splintered and torn apart wooden door told me everything I needed to know. Thank God I had called the cops as she started spazzing out and going out of control, and gotten the other teens upstairs, so no harm came of it. Later she would run away for good to prostitute on the inner city streets, and I can't say I didn't feel some relief along with sadness over the whole mess.

Some may ask why didn't you quit? I almost quit that day and wish I had, but I had taken this job after a year of unemployment and almost hitting the streets. I had suffered the lowest poverty and moved to this giant metro city to even take this job in the first place to avoid being homeless. I already lived in poverty, on the low pay but knew there was far farther to fall. I weighed so much by then into at least the 500s and I had no chance of getting another job and had already tried over and over to no avail. Later on, I would be disabled after endless visits to the hospital and other aspects of my health failing. The day I quit, I basically walked out, no notice, I could not go back. Soon I will share what that job entailed in more detail.

Some clients when I was disciplining them would go for the kill based on my weight. It was hard, I am not always hard nosed, but things would be done, like the clients stealing food out of the snack closet, and then blaming it on me, and co-workers going along with it, based on my weight.

With the verbal abuse, I heard the SAME things this lady did. Except in my case, I was dealing with violent clients where I had to keep my cool , the work I did was dangerous. I do believe it impacted my health in a very negative way. I saw co-workers jumped and beaten or heard about them being jumped and beaten. One day I had to call the police to save a residential counselor at the group home next door who got pushed into and locked in a closet but thankfully with his cell phone.

Turn over was very high. It occured to me once the three years were up, I was the only worker who had never gotten jumped for a beat down. [just things thrown badly at me]. To illustrate how bad this job was, I was threatened by gangbangers at least once, in helping their "girlfriends" run away from the group home, when I had taken them on an approved shopping trip to the mall. That was just ONE thing. Well I will tell you more later.

I do understand why Mrs. Klein did just sit their quietly as much as she could, in moving vehicles, the game plan changes, you can't escape if there is a physical altercation nor summon any help. The chances for injuries is far higher. It is how I would have responded, later instituting punishments. One thing today things are different, teachers do get attacked and beaten and hurt. You have to be wise about things, and make sure you keep your head together.

At her age, she can't fight those kids and knows with a group that large they can jump her and hit her and at her age they can do serious damage. The bus driver is busy driving. I do think the bus driver should have pulled over and ended what was happening but it is possible the noise volumes were high enough she or he did not hear.

So I heard the same sort of fat insults, and they would go to town, and the heavier I got, the worse they got. Looking back I was far too sick to even be there. But I did my best. For the kids who were abusive, I made sure there were consequences but with some that was to no avail. Some of the girls I won over by getting to know them but in the house I worked in, some of our clients were actually psychologically diagnosed sociopaths. I kept thinking about that as these kids went on and on, how many little psychopaths do we have running around now, where they can abuse a lady that looks like a little grandmother, and think nothing of it?

Even substitute teaching was not free of this stuff, in the earlier years. I would hear things like "I don't have to listen to you, you're faaattt". Usually the middle school kids were the worse so I used to choose older kids or far younger ones. IF a school was run well, where the kids had discipline and the principal's office upheld your authority, this problem was rare, but there was too many of the other kind. Long term assignments would help too no matter the school, because you got to know the students on a more personal level.

I vowed to never cry in front of any student and never did, but inside it took a toll. I would have to forgive later, but understand that the me of today would not tolerate such toxic situations, even to keep employment. I would not return to education today, at all. I saw too much. Maybe it was not meant for me. I was good at the art teaching and enthusiastic, but with my health and other problems it was just too much. Being a shyer person too and more of the bookworm variety, teaching had too many social demands as well. Later I would attempt to become a paralegal before I was disabled, so my foot was already out of the door by age 23.

If I ever had children I would seriously even consider homeschooling them or a very small private school rather then leave them to the wolves and the evil social programming of their so called "peer groups". I saw changes in young people even over my 10 year sojourn in the field that were not good. I do not want to know how bad things are 16 years hence. This does not mean every kid was a monster, I had the kids who told me I changed their life, had kids win national art awards during the art teacher job, had kids who acted as allies, who showed care for others but I knew from the work I did something was changing drastically in society and in the heads of young people bought up on violent video games and in a more and more soul-less and amoral culture. These kids abusing this women definitely are the outcome of many of those things.

Forget a vacation, she should use the $330,000 to quit! If she lived frugally and at same level she does on the job's income, she probably wouldn't have to work again.


  1. I was pushed out of a job when I got sick. I was already fat, but a skin disease made me a pariah, sometimes I wished I stayed and fought and sometimes I'm glad I left, I was deeply depressed and wanted out of the company and the job, but haven't worked since.

    FWIW, I flove your blog. I think you have an interesting perspective and voice. I have lots of questions I'd like to ask you, but I'll not inundate you all at once.

  2. Kate I am sorry to hear that. That is horrible stuff for people to go through. For all the talk of laws against discrimination in the work place very few are ever enforced? You know? When I had the weight gain, I had a terrible body-wide skin disease [they never diagnosed it, but I think it was related to my thyroid and I had a bout with statis ulcers too.

    I think it is better you left. It is better to get out of a toxic situation. No job is worth those chunks taken out of the soul. That is my advice to any fat person in an abusive place or any other person for that matter. It simply wasn't worth it. Today I think even the homeless shelter may have been a kinder experience then going through all that. I definitely have learned to take better care of myself since those times. Many young supersized fat women who face so much discrimination, can end up in terrible situations.

    It can be a horrible depressing experience. I did meet other residential counselors and those in the same field of work, who had like experiences and had to hightail it out of there. I am going to share an essay I wrote years ago too about that job.

    I know some don't have the violent kids to deal with, but they definitely have coworkers who do not hold back in insulting them about the weight. As I think back to my adult mockers, I think how come no one ever said "You should go to a doctor?" I was going deaf too, and got in trouble for not "hearing" at the same level other workers could such as a kid sneaking out of the house or hearing a snarky comment under one of their breathes.

    Thanks for compliments regarding my blog. Hey if you get time and would like to, write me at fivehundredpeep@gmail com

    Take care :)

  3. Hey, I tried email you, but it bounced back, is that right email on your comment?

  4. Oops I messed up typing it...


    Will look forward to your email...