News24

$330 000 in donations for bullied gran

2012-06-22 12:02

New York - A video of a US grandmother being bullied by a busload of schoolchildren went viral on Thursday, tugging at the heartstrings of sympathetic strangers who donated more than $330 000 to send her on a trip to recover from the ordeal.

The 10-minute video of school bus monitor Karen Klein being harassed by 12- and 13-year-olds went viral shortly after it appeared on YouTube and Facebook late Tuesday.

The cellphone clip shows the 68-year-old grandmother of eight trying her best to ignore taunts such as "fat ass" and "asshole" on a middle school bus in the town of Greece, near the city of Rochester in New York state.

The students also harass the white-haired woman about her weight, her hearing aid and her hairdo. One even leans in and says he will urinate on her front door, while others make rude gestures, laugh and even poke her.

Recovery time

Klein did not report the abuse but the video - captured by a student on the bus - quickly became an internet sensation.

With a goal of sending Klein on a vacation to recuperate from the trauma, the website indiegogo.com launched an online fundraising drive and quickly surpassed its goal of raising $5 000. By late afternoon on Thursday, it had amassed a staggering $338 650.

"God bless you, Karen!!" said one post on the site, signed Rachel. "I don't know how you handled yourself with such grace in such a horrible situation."

"It completely broke my heart, and I knew I had to contribute," says another post, signed Caroline.

Klein told television broadcaster NBC that she had been picked on before by her young charges.

"They just could be really nasty," she said. "I want the boys punished but I don't know how."
As for the outpouring of support, Klein said she "amazed".

"I've got, I don't know, the nicest letters, e-mails, Facebook messages," she said. "And it's like, wow, there's a whole world out there that I didn't know. It's just really awesome."

Students now being threatened

School authorities, meanwhile, have said the four students involved in the taunting would be disciplined.

The under-aged harassers, whose names and phone numbers surfaced online, were also getting a dose of unwanted attention from the public.

Greece Police Captain Steve Chatterton told AFP that one student's cellphone had 700 threatening messages.

"We are trying to get people to stop because it really serves no purpose," the chief said, adding it was no different from the bullying on the bus.

Comments
  • johan.maree.5036 - 2012-06-22 12:23

    700 messages, wow, that's what you call a dose of your own medicine... I think it will have a purpose, he won't do that again, I can promise you that!

      Bardy - 2012-06-22 13:48

      Hey... Anyone want to come and make fun of me? We can split the profit!!!

  • michael.jubiler - 2012-06-22 12:26

    Just watched the video - disgraceful! Just further proof of the rotting society we live in on the one hand and amazement of goodwill and charity on the other.

  • wendy.bertuolo - 2012-06-22 12:27

    I hope the parents of these children have seen the video...and that they act accordingly.

      Mark - 2012-06-22 13:59

      @Wendy... it's the parents that teach them how to grow up.... they are probably just as bad or worse and will probably think nothing of it...

      wendy.bertuolo - 2012-06-22 14:20

      @Mark, the sad thing is you're probably right.

  • riette.nothling - 2012-06-22 12:30

    Bullying the little brats will let them feel how their victim felt! Too bad America does not believe in a good smack on the backside, best meds to cure such awful behaviour. Can you imagine how it is in their homes?

  • Chez - 2012-06-22 12:33

    "They need to be punished but I don't know how" is exactly the reason it happened in the first place. No damn discipline!

  • Schmee - 2012-06-22 12:35

    I can't believe that kids can bully an adult like that. Makes you wonder how bad they are with their peers. Glad to see it backfired beautifully. There is hope for society after all.

  • mario.dippenaar - 2012-06-22 12:36

    You may find the video here: http://youtu.be/l93wAqnPQwk You may find the original tread suggesting the donations here: http://www.reddit.com/r/Assistance/comments/vbwh2/lets_give_karen_the_bus_monitor_h_klein_a/ You may find the donation page here: http://www.indiegogo.com/loveforkarenhklein?a=714358 Wow, I just did news24 work in 5 minutes. Do I get a cut of the profits?

  • lownabester - 2012-06-22 12:47

    Saw the video on SkyNews, Some children should be killed at birth. if society knows how they will turn out in latter life. Disgusting.

  • Raymond - 2012-06-22 12:48

    Enjoy your holiday Gogo. You deserve it. Pathetic little scumbags need serious punishment.

  • Ryno - 2012-06-22 12:48

    bring die kweper lat terug!!!!!

  • hein.helmand - 2012-06-22 13:06

    $450000 and counting

  • Alan - 2012-06-22 13:13

    Well done to all the donors, what a fantastic gift for this gran

  • jaco.botha.75 - 2012-06-22 13:22

    Rather give her an AK-47, a lot cheaper and she would be able to achieve a LOT more satisfaction out of it..

      jeffrey.jones.357 - 2012-06-22 14:08

      You sound like my kind of man, Jaco. We have similar problems with schoolkids cheeking their teachers. In my school days, my backside would have been black and blue for weeks after the punishment. Then again it wouldn't have happened back then, we were taught to respect elderly people.

  • pieter.joubert.9 - 2012-06-22 13:27

    God I hate kids, all are ungreatful little sh*ts...rather get another cat!

      Irene - 2012-06-22 15:02

      So agree with you. The more I know of people, the more I love my dog.

  • jeffrey.jones.357 - 2012-06-22 14:03

    What's the matter with these Greeks?

      smili.fication - 2012-06-22 16:46

      Greeks? AMERICANS!

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