Web's Gift to Bullied Bus Monitor: $260K
Karen Klein may take whole family on Disney cruise
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2012 8:46 AM CDT
Updated Jun 21, 2012 1:34 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Karen Klein had to put up with a shocking amount of bullying from students on the school bus where she works as a monitor—but thanks to the power of the Internet, her story has a happy ending. A 10-minute video of Klein being bullied to the point of tears went viral this week, though it's hard to get through even one minute of it as kids are heard constantly taunting and berating the New York grandmother of eight. The video was initially caught on a cellphone camera and uploaded to Facebook, then placed on YouTube by an uninvolved party—where it has so far racked up more than 1.5 million views. The disturbing video inspired an online fundraising effort to send Klein on vacation—and so far, more than $261,000 has been raised (with the amount increasing constantly).

"I was trying to just ignore them, hoping they would go away and it doesn’t work," Klein tells the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. "Trust me, they didn’t go away." Though two similar videos were eventually found after the school district opened an investigation, Klein insists, "The kids weren't always that bad." She didn't report the incident, and an investigation was launched only after the video went viral yesterday; students are now being questioned by police. A particularly poignant detail: Klein is hearing-impaired and did not hear all of the jeers at the time. She makes just $15,506 a year, according to the fundraising campaign, and is considering taking her whole family on a Disney cruise with her new-found riches. The 25-year-old Reddit user who started the campaign says it has exceeded his expectations, adding, "Maybe she could retire on this."

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Jun 22, 2012 11:22 AM CDT
First of all this woman is a MONITOR - not a security guard or disciplinarian and it does not matter what she looks like, she deserves the same respect any other person should get. The bigger question here has to do with a major parenting fail. Almost makes you wonder who let these kid's parents breed. Hopefully, the punishment is swift and severe for these no-minds.
Jun 22, 2012 10:29 AM CDT
First why is this woman on the bus in the first place? She is too old to do this kind of job. As for these kids they should have stoped the bus. The driver should have told them to keep their mouth's shut & if they didn't they could walk home. I have a friend in Ga. that is a bus monter & her kids are disabled but they can still shoot their mouth off. She told them to sit down shut up & NOW. She is only 5ft. 6 in. But they listened. Now they call her Miss Rose & behave very well.. Lenett All it takes is a little guts to show who is the boss.
Jun 22, 2012 7:56 AM CDT
Wow Newser community... wow. You can take any story not even remotely related to politics and turn it into a piss fight between "liberals" and "conservatives". God, I don't think I hate any two words more in the English language. What we have here are misguided children bullying an elder. No more, no less. Leave your politics at the door with stories like these.