Update I: The student was apparently identified and has apologized to La Rose, who is actually a man.
Update II: Wow, the plot thickens. SFist commenter ttulip says that s/he was a witness to the encounter and that La Rose initially handled the situation very inappropriately, yelling crude obscenities and trying to push the teen's legs off the seats. If that's the case, then they both are jerks.
The teen and her duffle bag were taking up three seats in the elderly/disabled section on a train that was packed to the gills, which included a group of fifteen 5- and 6-year-olds (good times!). La Rose politely asked the teen three times to move her bag so two other people could sit down. Here's an excerpt from her letter about what happened next:
I reached down to move her bag and when I did so, she stood up and very forcefully slapped me in the face, knocking off my glasses. I'm 60 years old and the surprise and force of her slap knocked me down. She then proceeded to curse at me, calling me a "f- -king bitch" and several other things. Several other passengers tried to calm her down. She continued to yell at me, and when she got off the streetcar at the Church and 18th Street stop, she spit in my face and on my jacket and cursed me again. I watched as she started to walk toward Mission High School on the other side of the street from the Muni stop, so I assume that she is a student there.
La Rose goes on to say that Muni should have extra security personnel to ensure the safety of its passengers, and providing additional trains during commuting hours would be a great help, of course. As SFist noted last month, SF cops are supposed to ride at least one bus per shift, but who has ever seen this occurrence?
We wonder if this should also be a responsibility of the school system as well. If they aren't providing school buses for their students, then maybe they need to include some sort of chaperones on lines that go to and from their schools. The Onion's Decider recently concluded that a revival of the Guardian Angels might be a more affordable solution.