The video showing a group of middle school boys taunting a 68-year-old woman in a school bus is giving renewed attention to bullying.
The viral video has millions of hits on YouTube. Donations to a crowd-funding website that sympathized with the woman already raised more than $400,000.
The video shows a group of seventh graders in Greece, NY torturing bus monitor Karen Klein, who did nothing to retaliate against the bullying.
Incidents like this do not surprise child counselor Vonda Morrissette, but it breaks her heart.
"It upset me because just thinking if that were my grandmother, or my mother," Morrissette said.
Morrissette offers counseling at Choice One Counseling Services in Madison.
She said bullying cases are a growing problem in her practice and often sees children who have bullied teachers, even their own grandparents.
She said the boys may have been encouraged to bully because they were in it as a group -- giving it a pack, or herd-like mentality.
"Kids would rather be seen as the cool kid than the one that sits back and says nothing. So they'll kick in and they'll get in with a person that's already saying something," said Morrissette.
Moreover, she said the video provides an important teachable moment for parents and kids.
"Tell them that look at how this affected this lady," she said.
Madison parent Rebekah Cothren watched the video for the first time and was shocked by what she saw.
"If my kids were to treat their grandparents that way or another adult that way, they would be in serious trouble with me," Cothren said.
Morrissette said far too many kids who are bullied – or bully others -- tend to keep it from their parents. She said keeping good communication could break that barrier.
"Especially with this situation, it's the summertime now to sit down and talk with them about what they've gone through," she said.
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