Karen Klein, a grandmother who works as a school bus monitor, has had an unusual week. It began when four male, middle-school students who regularly ride on her bus began taunting her. Several kids on the bus filmed the events and one video, entitled “Making the School Bus Monitor Cry” was posted on YouTube.
By Wednesday, the video had more than 100,000 hits and since then has reached more than 1,000,000 hits. It shows Klein, sitting on the bus and enduring taunts and cruel remarks from the four boys. They picked on her age, her weight and other factors relentlessly. The video lasts more than 10 minutes.
Klein displays unbelievable control in the face of the bullying she was subjected to. She has spent 20 years as a bus driver and monitor. She says the 4 boys involved have been known to misbehave before but there has never been anything like this, in all her years working with the kids.
Officials from the Greece School District where the students are schooled, along with local police, are looking into the incident. While Klein doesn’t want charges pressed against the boys, she does feel they should be punished and made to publicly apologize.
Where the story takes an amazing turn is in what happened next. The viral video caught the attention of Max Sidorov of Toronto who created a fundraising event on Klein’s behalf. The “Let’s Give Karen – The bus monitor – H Klein A Vacation” had received more than $100,000 in donations from more than 10,000 online sympathizers by Thursday. As of today, the fund has swelled to $335,000. The fund appears on Indiegogo.com and will conclude July 20, 2012.
The original intention of the fund was to give Klein a vacation, far from the Greece, NY location of the incident to the country of Greece. Now that the funds have surpassed anyone’s wildest dreams, the excess will go to help Klein enjoy her retirement.
Klein has been seen on NBC’s Today show with Matt Lauer and on the local news station WHEC out of Rochester, NY. She expresses her thanks to those who have sent her flowers, letters, and email and reached out through Facebook to show their support and to those who have donated on her behalf.