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Entries in Bus Monitor (4)

Wednesday
Jun272012

NY Bullied Bus Monitor Meets Man Behind Donations

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A bullied bus monitor finally got to meet the anonymous benefactor who began the online website that has raised more than $659,000 for her.

Karen Klein, 68, welcomed Max Sidorov into her Greece, N.Y., home Tuesday night.

"Great. Great. Nice guy, nice guy," Klein said.  "I'm very appreciative."

Klein became a public symbol for abusive bullying after a video was posted online showing four seventh-grade boys hurling taunts and crude jokes at her.  The video was seen more than two million times on YouTube.

Sidorov, who is from Toronto, said he was bullied once, too.  After seeing the video, he said, he had to do something.

"I know how it feels. Nobody should have to go through that, ever," he said.

Sidorov set up a website asking for donations to send Klein on a vacation with his original goal set at $5,000.  In its first 24 hours, the fundraising campaign -- on Indiegogo.com, a website that helps advocates raise money for various causes -- raised $125,000.

More than 7,500 signatures have accumulated on a Change.org petition urging President Obama to allow Klein to receive the donations tax-free, even though the money is not taxable.

"I didn't think anyone expected anything like this," Sidorov said.

Klein, a grandmother of eight, one with Down syndrome, said she will donate part of the money to support research.

"I almost feel like I don't deserve it," Klein said.  "They should be sending their donations to other people that have more problems than I do."

Most of all, Klein said she is grateful to Sidorov for turning something painful into something beautiful.

"My wrist band says be a buddy, not a bully," Klein said.

Sidorov said, "That's right.  If everyone gave each other support and kindness, none of this would ever happen anywhere."

The fundraising campaign will remain open for 24 more days.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun232012

Bullied Bus Monitor Karen Klein Doesn't Accept Boys' Apologies

George Doyle/Stockbyte(NEW YORK) -- A bullied upstate New York bus monitor who got national attention after a video of boys lobbing insults at her went viral said she doesn't accept the boys' apologies, according to media reports.

"I think they can do better," Klein told TMZ.

The 68-year-old grandmother got national attention after a video of middle school boys in Greece, N.Y. was uploaded to Youtube. By Friday afternoon, the campaign had sailed above its $5,000 goal — to over $600,000.

In a twist of events, police said the bullies are now being targeted. One boy received more than 1,000 threatening text messages in one night. Someone even called in saying they took one of the families hostage.

"We had to respond to that as it is almost a barricaded gunman," a police spokesperson told ABC News. "Then we had to set up perimeters and get the house surrounded. And then we had to try to make contact with the people, and they are inside their house and they were fine."

Robert Helms, the father of a 13-year-old boy who was caught on video tormenting Klein, said his family has received death threats.

"You've got to remember. He's a thirteen-year-old kid. It was a stupid mistake and he's paying for it," Helms said.

In the days since the video incited outrage and sympathy in equal measure, two of the four boys in the video have come forward to apologize. In statements released through the Greece Police Department — in which their full names are redacted for their protection— the boys, named Wesley and Josh, expressed shame at their actions.

"I am so sorry for the way I treated you," Josh wrote. "When I saw the video I was disgusted and could not believe I did that. I am sorry for being so mean and I will never treat anyone this way again."

In its first 24 hours the fundraising campaign — on Indiegogo.com, a website that helps advocates raise money for various causes —raised $125,000. From there, the total jumped approximately $15,000, Klein's annual salary as a bus monitor, every three hours. By Friday afternoon, the campaign had sailed above its $5,000 goal — to nearly $550,000.

More than 7,500 signatures have accumulated on a Change.org petition urging President Obama to allow Klein to receive the donations tax-free — even though the money is not taxable.

In the video, the boys relentlessly hurl insults at Klein, especially about her physical appearance. At one point, a boy says that if he stabbed Klein in the stomach, "my knife would go through you like butter because it's all [expletive] lard."

After they repeatedly poked Klein and threatened to "break into her house" and unleash a pit bull on her, one of the boys uploaded the video to YouTube.

During most of the video, Klein is seen attempting to tune the taunts out. But at one point, the grandmother of eight is seen wiping tears from her eyes.

"Are you sweating? Karen, Karen! Are you sweating?" one student asked.

"I'm crying," she replied.

The fundraising campaign will remain open for 27 more days.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun222012

Tormented NY Bus Monitor Won't Press Charges Against Kids

George Doyle/Stockbyte(NEW YORK) -- Karen Klein is living proof that it's not just children who are the victims of bullies.

The 68-year-old school bus monitor from upstate New York now knows she has defenders in every corner of the world after a video posted on YouTube called "Making the Bus Monitor Cry" showed Klein being tormented for 10 minutes by a group of middle-school aged boys, who called her fat and even brought up the suicide of her oldest son.

The outpouring of sympathy for Klein and rage directed at her young taunters is unprecedented, even in this age of many videos going viral.

A Toronto man's plea for people to send money to a fundraising website so that Klein could go on vacation or possibly retire from her job of 20 years in Greece, N.Y., has raised in excess of $450,000. That's coming from more than 15,000 people who chipped in $20 or less.

Clearly overwhelmed by what's happened, Klein says that she does not want charges brought against the four boys who verbally tortured her.

Local police say that while the youngsters' behavior was despicable, serious threats made against the boys and their families are equally intolerable.

Meanwhile, Athena Middle School in suburban Rochester, N.Y., is considering disciplinary action.

A father of one of the seventh-graders said his son is aware of the ramifications of what he did, explaining, "No one has denied accountability, and they've taken responsibility for their actions."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun212012

Caught on Tape: NY School Bus Monitor Bullied to Tears by Kids

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In a case of bullying gone too far, a bus monitor from Greece, N.Y., was verbally abused to tears by a group of middle-school aged kids, who recorded the incident and later posted the profanity-filled video on the Internet.

Karen Klein, 68, can be seen taking insults and being ridiculed by the students in a 10-minute video posted on YouTube called “Making the Bus Monitor Cry.”  The video has since gone viral, with well over one million views.

Viewers have left comments, mostly condemning the children's actions, and one, Max Sidorov of Toronto, Canada, started a campaign through the fundraising site indiegogo.com to urge people to donate money to send the bus monitor on vacation.

By early Thursday, $100,000 had been contributed from over 5,300 donors and much more is expected until the campaign ends on July 20.  It’s possible that enough money will be raised to allow Klein, who’s been a bus driver and monitor for 20 years, to finally retire.

In the meantime, the school district is looking into the incident and has promised to take action against Klein’s tormentors.

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Copyright 2012 ABC news Radio







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