After being verbally abused on a New York school bus, bus monitor Karen Klein has been awarded a holiday raise of more than $440,000. The abuse was captured on camera and posted to Youtube, receiving over 1.5 million views and accumulating enough supporters to start an internet campaign. The campaign would fund Klein’s holiday vacation, taking hundreds of donations from around the world.
“I’ve got these nice letters, emails, Facebook messages,” Klein told NBC. “It’s like, wow, there’s a whole world out there that I didn’t know. It’s really awesome.”
Profanity, physical ridicule and other forms of abuse were thrown at Klein while she rode the bus. Each derogatory comment would cut deep into anyone’s self esteem. A kid’s camera phone recorded the entire incident, providing police with enough evidence to contact the parents of the four boys involved. Local police Captain Steve Chatterton has informed reporters that the parents are cooperating and their children will be disciplined within the home. The school district in Greece, New York, may also take disciplinary action. An investigation was underway, but the boys’ behavior had not yet reached the level of crime, Chatterton said.
According to the BBC, the four boys have recently received a taste of their own medicine. Each of the adolescents have been bombarded with death threats from those who were seriously angered by the viral video. Chatterton and his officers have agreed to protect the children, patrolling the suburbs where the kids live. One of the boys has received more than a thousand death threats.
One of the most unsettling comments emitted from the 12- and 13-year-olds is a reference to Klein’s family: “They all killed themselves because they didn’t want to be near you.” This insult was particularly painful for Klein because her son committed suicide 10 years ago. The children continued to taunt the older woman as tears trickled down her face.
Mrs. Klein told NBC she was “amazed” at the amount of support she has received. The grandmother of eight has unified a small community in defense of her mistreatment.
Other videos that feature other Greece students taunting the same bus monitor have been posted online. The district has been working to identify all students involved.