The ladies of CBS daytime’s The Talk mix girl gossip with subjects of gravitas better than anyone, and usually leave viewers laughing; but this week, no one was laughing about the viral video of school bus monitor, Karen Klein from Greece, New York. Before any googly eyes were made at actor Scott Wolf, and even before congratulations went to Aisha Tyler for her part in Archer, just awarded a Critics Choice award, focus of the opening discussion turned to Klein, and the tragedy of bullying at any age. Sharon Osbourne didn’t hide her dismay for the state of this country’s youth, asking, “What could this ‘stiff punishment’ for these kids be? And what about the parents?” wondering what could prompt such cruelty totally unprovoked out of the mouths of not babies, but teens who are now exposed to anti-bullying campaigns in schools. Having had her own dose of the difficulties in getting through life lately, as she copes with son Jack’s MS diagnosis, Mrs. O empathetically remarked that “so many people struggle just to get through life” and applauded Mrs. Klein’s courage and restraint under the verbal siege, and spoke her mind about more than a suspension and a “No-No” being suitable for the students involved.
Aisha Tyler could not contain her emotion, coming to tears as she spoke about being the victim of bullying, and pleading aloud, “It hurts so much to see this woman. This could be your grandmother.” Sheryl Underwood commended Klein for her restraint, brushing away tears, and looking out the window, rather than acting on what had to be her crushed feelings. With some comic relief, Underwood joked that if that had been her bus monitoring post, “that bus would be rocking.” All five ladies around the table raved at how Klein’s online vacation fund has exploded to over $200,000, which Sarah Gilbert remarked would not only make for a great getaway, but would pay for one year of care for Hallie Berry’s daughter!
Displaying even more grace, the 68-year-old Klein, who reported that her most hurtful a song came with the words her children should kill themselves, because her son, in fact had been lost to suicide some years ago, does not want the youth prosecuted. Comforted by “the nicest letters” and the strong showing of community support, Karen Klein now feels better, and the school district promises that those involved will face “strong disciplinary action.”