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Bus Monitor Cruelly Bullied by Middle-School Students

Bus Monitor Cruelly Bullied by Middle-School Students

She could be my aunt or my sister. She could be me. She could be you or someone you love, and she is in pain.

The camera keeps rolling, recording unrelenting abuse heaped on the 68-year-old bus monitor for the Greece School District in Upstate New York. The four middle-school students who bully Karen Huff Klein are not content to humiliate and scorn her. They throw in threats and ugly innuendos. The brutal, ten-minute video is excruciating to watch.

The bus keeps rolling. No one comes to her defense.

The good news is the video has gone viral. People around the globe have weighed in to support her, including this job offer from Wegmans Food Markets:

#KarenKlein demonstrated grace and courage. She hasn’t yet, but she’s welcome to apply for a job @Wegmans.

Max Sidorov of Toronto wrote on Reddit, “As soon as I saw that video I decided to take action!” He started an Indiegogo fundraiser for her. His intent was to raise $5,000. As of this writing, and with 29 days left in the campaign, the fund totals nearly $360,000. What started as the hope of raising enough money to give her a vacation has become a fund that will also allow her to replace her small salary ($15,506 a year) with a comfortable retirement.

Still, no amount of money can heal the attack on her spirit. Karen Huff Klein was just doing her job, trying to make sure students traveled safely to and from school. She wants the students to apologize but does not want the police to press criminal charges. When the Democrat & Chronicle asked her if she planned to return to her job next year, she said: “Yeah…because all kids aren’t bad.”

Well said, Karen Huff Klein. The kind of bullies who attacked her are a minority of the students. They are also a minority among colleagues in the workplace or students in a fraternity house. However, their power is greater than their numbers, and their impact is devastating.

The school district is investigating the incident. So are the police.

Because the video was posted on YouTube, people around the world are waiting to see how the students will be handled. The money will improve her life, but Karen Huff Klein will carry the scars until she dies.

The students need to do more than apologize. They need to understand the consequences of their cruelty and to make restitution.

What do you think, Care2 readers? What could these students do to make amends for their actions?

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169 comments

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4:32PM PDT on Oct 10, 2012

Absolutely unacceptable!!! I didn't watch the video (I was bullied at school and still get bad memories). Completely disrespectful! How would they like it if someone spoke to their grandparents that way???

1:48AM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

Which century does, " What I really want to do to those brats and their unbelievable stupid parents is to cut out their tongues" come from? Ye gods!

1:40AM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

What I really want to do to those brats and their unbelievable stupid parents is to cut out their tongues and have people call them obscenities 24/7. But I know that won't happen so I settle with those bad mouthed teens and their useless parents having to pick up trash, dog poo and clean public toilets while wearing pink overalls with the texts "I disrespected an elderly female bus monitor" and "I'm a parent of one of those low-lifes that tormented the elderly female bus monitor". They should have to do this for at least three years or until they are 18 years old. In addition, being suspended from school, forced to take lessons in humane behaviour, do community service at homes for senior citizens, and have to walk to school (when reinstated) for the rest of their education. The parents will aslo have to do plenty to make sure they have changed and if anything likewise happens with their offspring, they will be severly punished. Parenting isn't a right; It's a priviledge!

8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Bullying has always been a scourge in society but this is so very shocking. Am very surprised that the bus driver did not take action and pull over the bus, telling the bullies to get off immediately and after the rest of the students were dropped off, take the video to the principal. If anti-bullying laws exist, these should be enforced.

Bullying is ugly and cruel. The students must face severe consequences. I don't believe in threats made against the students or their families but they must be disciplined, listen to a Victim Impact Statement from the woman insulted, do community work with seniors along with other penalties.

Hit the comment button once but got a blank white page and no butterfly points. As such I will risk hitting the add comment again. Usually if one sees the 20+ the comment has taken even if it is not yet visible but did not even see the butterfly points come out on the screen.

3:21PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

I couldnt watch it. Good news is a website started to raise money for her ? Has raised over 600.000.00 so far and the students doing that have been taken out of regular school, sent to a school where their social skills and bullying will be discussed WITH their parents and they arent allowed to use school transport for a year. JUSTICE

4:13PM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

wow that was more than harsh...i couldnt' stand watching more than 2 minutes of that video...I can't imagine what it must've been like for her to endure the full 10minutes of this ridiculous torment.

12:43PM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

No words really for this disrespect and torment!

8:44PM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

most parents don't seem to bother teaching their kids about respecting other people...

7:32PM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

Don't worry, they will. If not now, when they grow up. Imagine trying to apply for a job when you got something like that in your history, posted on the internet for everyone to see. No, it's not going to be a very happy future for those boys. They f***ed themselves over real good.

10:48PM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

If these kids think they're such bad asses why don't they send them to the REAL inmates in our prisons. They think they're tough and all that but they really aren't! The inmates will scream in their faces until they s*** themselves. Those inmates are the REAL bullies. They'll take good care of them! These stupid kids have no respect for anyone, probably not even for their own parents! Whatever happened to respecting your elders??? I guess their parents forgot to teach them that. Shame on the parents!I hope those stupid spoiled brats get what they deserve!

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