Karen Klein, a school bus monitor in Greece, New York, is being greatly rewarded for keeping her cool while middle school students harassed her during a ride home on Monday. The incident was caught on tape by a student and posted on Youtube Tuesday. By Wednesday, the 10 minute video titled “Making the Bus Monitor Cry” had gone viral and a fundraiser to send Klein, 68, on vacation had been set up on Indiegogo.com by a Toronto man who watched the video. The fundraiser had already collected more than $200,000 as of Thursday.
"I saw the video and really felt for Karen," says 25-year-old nutritionist Max Sidorov. "I have some experience with bullying from when I was young and what they were doing to her was just heartbreaking. The best thing I could think to do was start a fundraiser to send her on a vacation."
In interviews Thursday morning, Klein said she is “so amazed” at the outpouring of support. “I've gotten the nicest letters, emails, Facebook messages. It's like, wow – there's a whole world out there I didn't know,” she said.
The video shows students threatening Klein and making fun of her weight and appearance. One student even tells her that her entire family committed suicide. "I was trying to just ignore them, hoping they would go away, and it doesn't work," Klein said Thursday. "Trust me; they didn't go away."
The Greece Central School District notified police of the incident and an investigation has been launched. “This behavior is inexcusable and a clear violation of our code of conduct,” district assistant superintendent Deborah Hoeft said.
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