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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bullies on the Bus

I watched with outrage and sadness that news clip of the older woman being bullied on the schoolbus.
Perhaps you saw it, too. Three or four boys --I think they were seventh graders --insulted this sweet sixty-eight year old woman. And they even filmed their despicable behavior.
The woman had been hired to monitor the bus during operation, to keep the kids safe.
The video clip was almost too awful to watch. Not only did I feel bad for the woman, but I felt such shame for these brats.
How could they do such a thing?
Did any of them feel so much as a pang of conscience?
The woman didn't say much. She didn't lose her temper or return insults. At one point she wiped her eyes and explained to the boys that she was crying because they were making her so sad. That only produced more bullying.
One of the boys smirked into the camera as if to say, "Isn't this funny? Aren't we cool?"
Oh, how I wished I could have reached right through the lens of the camera, grabbed that boy by the throat and given him a thrashing. I'm sure most viewers felt the same way.

If you had been that woman, what would you have said?
There was a time when you could have said, "Shame on you, what would your mother say if she could see you right now?"
Or perhaps you'd have said, "Shame on you! When your teacher finds out, he'll have you thrown off the bus, permanently."

But I heard that the parents only "had a talk" with their sons.
If that had been one of my kids, there would have been long-reaching and painful consequences. And my child would have had to go to the woman's home and apologize to her face. Then I would have required him or her to perform house-hold projects around the woman's place for a set amount of time until the "debt" was paid.

I heard that the school has done very little to discipline these boys or to set an example to other kids of the consequences of bad behavior.

Why do we not take sin seriously?
Oh, right. We don't think it's sin.
It's just immaturity. Psychologists have discovered that the boys' brains haven't reached that point where they can control their actions or comprehend the ramifications of their behavior.
It's a funny thing about psychologists and their discoveries; before they became so enlightened by research, kids like me got punished for bad behavior. And you know what? We actually learned to behave ourselves and control our baser inclinations. Amazing! 

And the schools no longer talk about God.
And the parents, no doubt, believe there is a god, but he's a kind and loving god who wants all of us to just be tolerant. And we're all going to heaven anyway, 'cause a loving god would never send anyone to hell. So there's no reason to repent and change one's behavior.

I once received a lecture from my son's third-grade teacher on the "right" way to handle a situation involving some disrespectful words he'd said at school. She said I must never make him feel bad about what he said. That would hurt his self-esteem. I told her that if and when one of my children does something wrong, he should feel bad about it. That sense of shame about his actions would help him learn not do the same thing again. By the teacher's silence, I could tell she thought I was an abusive parent. For the record, all three of my children have grown into lovely, respectful, kind, loving, law-abiding adults.

I wish our society would take sin seriously.
I know God does.

". . . yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." (2 Cor. 7: 9,10 NIV Bible)


  1. I saw this clip, and was horrified. It seems bad behavior hardly raises an eyebrow today much less trigger a consequence.

    Kids need boundaries. We all need boundaries. This society is raising young people devoid of conscience.

  2. Susan, I agree. There seems to be no respect for authority anymore. I see it at the schools every time I go there.