This week’s viral video is a 10-minute video of middle school boys on a school bus bullying Karen Klein, their 68-year old bus monitor. It takes place in Greece, N.Y. Your heart will break watching this.
It’s over ten minutes of vulgar profanity after insult after poking and then again. During this barrage of abuse, Klein sits. She is mostly quiet, staring, or crying. She responded, “Unless you have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” They responded by escalating their harassment. They bully her about her age, weight, body image, appearance, how much money she has, and her economic status. They threaten to harm and sexually abuse her.
What a way to end the school year! At least four seventh-grade boys joined in, continuing their verbal assaults of Klein from beginning to end in this video. She said she hopes she doesn’t get them next year. How long has Karen Klein had to endure this bullying?
The video was posted to YouTube and went viral. The story was picked up by national TV and news media. Klein was interviewed on CNN and by Anderson Cooper. Klein revealed the taunt that made her cry was when a boy said she was so ugly her children would commit suicide. What the boys didn’t know, in fact, was one of her sons did commit suicide a decade ago.
Oh the shame! Shame on these boys and their parents. The school system is pursuing disciplinary measures. The Greece police announced Thursday that Karen Klein said she is satisfied with the action by the school department, and will not be pressing charges. Though the police affirmed that they leave the option open for Klein to press criminal juvenile charges either as a misdemeanor or a possible felony, if she chooses, at a later date.
As the story spread, Max Sidorov, of Ontario, Canada, initiated an online, crowdsource fund at indiegogo.com called, Lets Give Karen -The bus monitor- H Klein A Vacation! The goal was to raise $5,000 in one month. Sympathizers have been donating virally. As Friday morning, the fund stands at $453,545! This is a miracle – asking for $5,000 and getting nearly $500,000, with 28 days left to go.
There are many versions posted out on YouTube. One version was posted on June 19 (Wednesday), and it has 3,719,678 views as of Friday morning. Another version posted June 20, has 466,664 views. At the 8 minute and 25 second point, Karen said, “Live with integrity.” Famous last words that should not be forgotten.