Online and in messages to school and police officials, many demanded that the youngsters overheard in the video be arrested. Chatterton said he's "gotten e-mails from the United Kingdom (and) from all over the United States saying prosecute, prosecute."
"I feel it. I feel it," he said. "But we have to follow the law. We can't tailor the law to meet this case because of public outrage."
Police also said the seventh-graders had received death threats from people near and far. For example, Chatterton said, one of their cell phones "had over 1,000 missed calls and 1,000 text messages threatening him. And he is a 13-year-old."
Hodges, the University of Oregon professor, said she's not surprised by the communal desire for justice.
She said this could be explained through the "just-world hypothesis," the belief that people think the world should be good -- and when it is not, especially when a blameless and vulnerable person suffers as a result, someone needs to be punished.
"Clearly, something is wrong, this shouldn't be happening," Hodges said. "There's a sense somebody needs to be blamed. ... People feel the need to balance the scope."
One person not calling for the four boys to be thrown behind bars is Klein. The bus monitor said that, right now at least, she does not want police to pursue criminal charges. But Klein would like to see them banned from the bus and athletic activities and, most of all, wants to make sure they don't bully anyone else.
"I want to make sure that they never do this again, to anybody," she said.