A bullied upstate New York bus monitor got national attention after a video of boys throwing insults at her went viral. The bullying that bus monitor Karen Klein endured on a ride home from an upstate New York school was painful and egregious, but also shows how student harassment of teachers and administrators has become more spiteful and damaging in the online era.

Much attention has been paid to students who bully students in class, after school and on the Internet. Less has been given to equally disturbing behavior by students who harass instructors, principals and other adults.

Klein, a grandmother reportedly paid something like $15,000 a year to sit on the school bus and watch over the kids, struggles mightily to diffuse and ignore a group of boys who grow progressively more cruel, making fun of her weight and what they assume is her poverty. They call her vulgar names and suggest she got her purse on layaway. One boy jabs her with a book, like she’s a petting zoo animal.

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