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Old 06-20-2006, 06:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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School Bus Video Shows Beating of 10-Year-Old Boy

I heard about this today on the radio, then saw the kid who was beaten tonight on Greta.

School Bus Video Shows Beating of 10-Year-Old Boy in Michigan
NEW BALTIMORE, Mich. Videotape shows a 10-year-old boy being repeatedly punched by two others on a school bus while the driver continued her route without stopping, the child's father said Monday.

The videotape from a camera on the bus shows two boys taunting and teasing Chester Gala on their way home from New Baltimore Middle School, 30 miles north of Detroit, earlier this month. The tape was shown Monday on NBC's "Today."

After finger pointing and shoving, one of the boys stood up and punched Chester repeatedly. Despite the altercation, the driver continued her route without stopping, the boy's father, Eric Gala, said on "Today."

"I want the whole world to see this tape. I want every parent to realize that when you put your child on the bus, there is a concern for their safety," he said.

Representatives of the school district and the Macomb County prosecutor's office did not immediately return calls seeking comment Monday.

The identities of the boys beating Gala's son were not available and there was no indication if any charges would be filed.
The kid who was beaten had skipped two grades in school and attends classes with kids who are 2-4 years older than him. They said on Greta that the two have been formally charged, but nothing will really come of it.

I skipped 2nd grade and was beaten by older kids pretty regularly until middle school. They would usually gang up on me 3 or 4 at a time and they always got me after school. Most of the kids who beat me were in my grade or the one above me, but there was one jr. high kid who took part in it, too (I've never known why). I don't remember ever telling my parents because I was too embarrassed that I was getting my butt kicked. However, I do remember telling my sister's boyfriend, though (he was in high school), and he beat the ever-loving shit out of the jr. high kid. He was never a problem again, but the rest of them kept going at it.

I never knew why they did it, and I never knew why they stopped. I turned out fairly well adjusted, and all the way through jr. high and high school I was a popular kid who was friends with just about everybody.

When I watched the video on the news tonight, I was struck by the kids sitting around the beating who just looked out the window as if nothing was happening. For the first time in 35 years, I started remembering how many kids used to walk right past my beatings and just kept going. They never cheered them on and they never tried to stop it. They just kept going as if nothing was happening.

Weird memories, tonight. Maybe I oughta sue somebody....
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Last edited by warrrreagl; 06-20-2006 at 06:54 PM..
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Old 06-21-2006, 02:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Men are over-represented in suicide statistics (young people 5-1) and in prisons (I can't remember the ratio but its very high) and in car accidents and other deaths. A bus driver often also acts as a security guard / keeper of the peace - its not their job but for god sake we can't call the police everytime something bad happens. If you can't stand up to two 10-year-olds, you shouldn't be driving a bus.

On a lighter note, I was playing poker on the weekend and it slowly emerged that two of the players, who were now around 40, went to the same school and one of them used to beat up the other! Made for a tense game.
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Old 06-21-2006, 03:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you are going to beat someone up, makes sure its on video, and remember to look at the camera. Makes the prosecutions job so much easier.
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Last edited by stevie667; 06-22-2006 at 07:43 AM..
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Old 06-21-2006, 05:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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As a boy growing up, I never understood the appeal of harrassing or beating-up the younger or weaker kids. Perhaps these bullies are so put down at home by their parents or other adults, this is one way of making them feel all high and mighty for a change. I was an A-student throughout most of my school years, and I got my fair share of harrassment for it, including soem from kids who were friends at one time or another. I have also been a witness to beatings that I probably could have intervened in, but I was too scared to draw the attention to myself and get beat down myself.
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Old 06-21-2006, 05:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by warrrreagl
When I watched the video on the news tonight, I was struck by the kids sitting around the beating who just looked out the window as if nothing was happening. For the first time in 35 years, I started remembering how many kids used to walk right past my beatings and just kept going. They never cheered them on and they never tried to stop it. They just kept going as if nothing was happening.
Originally Posted by Average_Joe
I have also been a witness to beatings that I probably could have intervened in, but I was too scared to draw the attention to myself and get beat down myself.
There you have it.
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Old 06-21-2006, 07:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Kids fight. So what?
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Old 06-21-2006, 08:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I am going to have to agree with Carno on this one.

No, I do not condone this behaviour. If my child was hurting another, I would stop that activity by any means necessary.

Kids fight. Kids are cruel. Kids tease, ridicule, ashame and degrade their peers in an attempt to promote their own status in the group. It is as an adolescent that we start to realize the error, and it is an act of adulthood when this behaviour stops.

Kids fight. It is instinct. The parents need to give them correction.
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Old 06-21-2006, 08:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
There was a kid in the 9th grade that teased me mercilessly in our "physical fitness" class (where you play didgeball and run/walk around the track). It was him and his two friends who always flanked him like he was the master cock and they were his testicles- the fact that he was tall and they were both short did not help dissuade using such a visual analogy.

At any rate, one day he up and decided he'd throw a tennis ball at the back of my head. To that point, it was all verbal intimidation and being right in my face, maybe some shoving, but never anything physical like that.

So I turned around and walked up to him and told him if he didn't immediately leave me alone, I was going to flip out and beat the living shit out of him. I told him if he swung on me, he'd better knock my ass out on the first hit. Well, he did swing and connect, right on my chest, but I only staggered a bit, I didn't fall. I then punched him in the face and he hit the ground like a sack of manure. He tried to swing at me from the ground, so I punched him several times all over his stomach and chest. I look up to see his two "friends" just standing there, all wide-eyed.

It's one of only two fights i've ever been in, both massively provoked by the other person.

Moral of the story: That kid was a bully to a lot of people, not just me. He stopped being a bully to ANYONE after that day. Perfect? No. But it was a life lesson he needed to learn.
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Old 06-21-2006, 08:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Is the bus driver under any legal obligation to stop the fight?

i gotta wonder if he's even allowed to stop the bus and try to stop the fight because that would mean actually touching the kids.

I wouldn't be surprised if the policy was to get the bus to school, and then let the security officers sort it out...
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Old 06-21-2006, 09:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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When I was doing my time in the shithole they call the public education system, any fighting on the bus meant that you got kicked off the bus for the rest of the school year.

In my experience, nothing ever happened on the way to the school, because everyone knew you'd get in trouble with the pigs who worked as the school resource officers. Every fight happened on the way home, and when it came time to drop off the troublemakers, the bus driver just told them they were kicked off the bus.
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Old 06-21-2006, 04:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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lots of my friends drove buses in college... from what i hear, getting involved in a kid-fight is more trouble than it's worth. the chances of a lawsuit and/or angry parent headhunt prohibit common sense measures like pulling an aggressive 10 year old off a smaller kid.

the school's policy pretty much relied on the cameras to mete out punishment after the fact.
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Old 06-21-2006, 05:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Linky link to the video.

I've watched the video a few times, and the summary above isn't quite an accurate representation of what you see on it.

The bully looks to be three or four years older than the vicitm and is easily twice his size. He repeatedly makes a finger gun next to the kid, making a comment, then slaps the smaller boy, sometimes just hitting him. A second boy the same size is there not getting violent, but seems to be a part of the tuanting based on his body language. To his credit, the smaller boy doesn't just take it, but defends himself each time. Eventually the larger boy stands up and begins beating the smaller one. Brutal isn't a bad description. The bus driver yells at the boy to stop, telling him that he's "off the bus" and that it's "all on tape". The time stamp shows the bullies being removed from the bus five minutes later.

My commentary:

It's an assault by a boy backed up by another, both twice the size of the victim.

The bus driver intervened immediately and the assault stopped. I see no place to fault her for her behavior.


I was often the target of social ostracism in high school, but never any physical bullying. Girls go after each other, but we do it with psychological warfare rather than physical combat.


Last edited by Gilda; 06-21-2006 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I've seen the tape several other places, and I have to say that I think the bus driver handled it correctly. After all, her primary job is to pilot the bus. Keeping the peace is absolutely subsidiary to that. She got the kid off the bus immediately and reported the incident. If the victim's family sues the district (which sounds like a distinct possiblity), she'll get deposed and it will be a general pain in her ass, but she acted within the scope of her job and acted prudently, so she and the district should have nothing to worry about unless she witnessed previous beatings and didn't report them.

Just to play devil's advocate here, but what are people going to be happy with? Should the older kids go to jail? It looks like he's punching the younger boy in the arm (although the seat hides most of the action) and I don't think that there was any blood involved, so is jail time really warranted for this? I would think that a few day's suspension and being banned from the bus for next year is probably a more reasonable punishment than sending this kid off to juvy.
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Old 07-02-2006, 09:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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damn.. that's sad. I hope the boy that got beat up gets his revenge someday..
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