Bullied bus grandma gets $700 000

2012-07-22 20:11
Bus monitor Karen Klein, of Greece, NY, is a bus monitor who was recently bullied by students. (Steven Senne, AP)

Bus monitor Karen Klein, of Greece, NY, is a bus monitor who was recently bullied by students. (Steven Senne, AP) (Steven Senne)

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New York - An online fundraiser for a New York grandmother whose harassment at the hands of a bus load of schoolchildren was captured on video raised more than $700 000 in a month.

Bus monitor Karen Klein, 68, was ridiculed by a group of 12- and 13-year-olds about her weight, hearing aid and hairdo in a cell phone video posted to Facebook and YouTube last month.

The video, which shows Klein trying to ignore taunts and profanity, went viral and led to an outpouring of public support.

A campaign started by Toronto man Max Sidorov on fundraising website Indiegogo ended on Friday night and raised $703 873. It was a hefty sum for a fundraiser whose initial goal was $5 000 intended to send Klein on vacation.

Most of the money was raised in the first week after the video, shot by a boy on the Greece Athena Middle School bus, went online.

A spokesperson for Indiegogo said more than 32 000 people contributed to the fundraiser, and that donations, coming from 84 countries and all 50 states, resulted in an end sum more than 45 times Klein's annual salary.

In an interview last month with ABC News, Sidorov said he had been bullied once.

"I know how it feels, and nobody should go through that ever," he said.

Klein, in turn, said she was "very appreciative," and that she planned to donate some of the money.

- SAPA
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