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Update: Bus Monitor’s Tormenters Punished

Update: Bus Monitor’s Tormenters Punished
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When Karen Klein, her two daughters and six grandchildren return from their all-expense-paid trip to Disneyland (thanks to Southwest Airlines), she may have a fresh perspective on the horrible bullying she endured. What likely will not change is her belief most students are good people.

The Greece, New York, bus monitor was leading a quiet life until the incident thrust her into the limelight. With four middle-school students cruelly mocking her and one of them recording the abuse for YouTube, she fought back with her only weapons: integrity and tears.

Max Sidorov from Toronto saw the video. He had experienced bullying himself when he was younger. He launched an Indiegogo fundraising effort to send Klein on a vacation. So many people contributed to the fund the total had topped $677,000 at the time of this writing. Contributors have been leaving sympathetic notes along with their donations.

While Klein was receiving this outpouring of generosity, the boys and their families were enduring death threats, hate mail and ugly phone calls. Some comments on Care2 expressed some of the same “eye for an eye” sentiment.

The Greece Central School District issued a press statement saying the students had been suspended from school and from regular bus transportation for a year. During that time they will attend an alternative program where they will receive formal instruction “related to conduct and behavior.” Parents will be involved in the program.

The students will complete 50 hours of community service with senior citizens and a formal anti-bullying program. If they do well during their first 30 weeks at the Reengagement Center, they can apply for readmission to middle school.

Next: The Aftermath

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2:03PM PDT on Sep 29, 2012

Poor lady. Kids suck sometimes. Where are their parents?

1:42AM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

I voted NO because i think the response are way to nice to the perps!

10:47AM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

I heard she was going to give much of that money to family members caring for children with Autism and Down Syndrome.

Glad to hear the parents have to have some training too, but I think the boys need to go live for a year with relatives in a school district that is multi-ethnic, very tolerant, and has strict policies about bullying.

5:17PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

Bullying should not be tolerated - even a little bit. I heard one father of one of these boys suspended say that he thought the public exposure was punishment enough for his son. With parents like this, no wonder the kids did what they did. We need to restrict some people from having kids - and probably animals.

2:56PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

From what I have read it seems that some people are jealous that others donated to that woman, because nobody ever helped them when something happened to them. Get over it seriously. And as for those kids being kids, that is a crock of sh#$!! If kids are taught not to disrespect their elders that carries through even their teenage years. I admit I was not an innocent teen, but never would have I talked to and older person that way, and I would have knocked the crap out of any other kid I seen doing it!! I was brought up with respect though, and I still feel that way. Anyone who disrespects and elderly person for just sitting there needs their A@# whooped, and the parents do need to be taught something. Why do you think young people are so crappy anymore, because of their parents!!! It starts at home it is just no one wants to take responsibility for their children anymore! If you can't take responsibility for your kids then you shouldn't have had them in the first place!!!!

12:29PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

Char I guess you didn't read the second page. She is donating some of the money to charity.
As for fighting back, what was she supposed to do. Personally I would have loved to slap them all up side their head but then the parents of these (little darling) would have me in court so fast it would make my head spen. If she had even said anything back to them they would probably have gone running to mummy and daddy saying that the mean old lady had talked back to them and sued her for harassing their sweet little darings.
Char what would you have done????

12:28PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

Anyone wondering what their parents are like, I can assure you they do not know their kids like the likes of me does. Kids show the angelic side to their folks and their dark side to the like of me. I know, that’s been my life for nearly 30 years, since I started in school. Kids do that. It might not be right, but they do. And anyone thinking these kids are special, need to open their eyes.
And those parents who go on and say that they haven’t raised their kids to be like that, need to get a reality check. Your kids are gonna do whatever the bleep they want the moment you turn your back on them. You don’t know them, you only know PARTS of them.

And quite frankly, an adult woman who cries when she’s called fat and ugly shouldn’t be bus monitor. If that’s all it takes, she isn’t cut out for the job. Let’s face it, she has picked a job where verbal abuse is quite likely, and if that’s all it takes for her to cry, then she has lived an very sheltered life. When they actually try to follow you or pull a knife, that’s when it’s time to get frightened. Words mean very little, especially said the way these youngsters are saying it.

10:25AM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

It's a start, but we must monitor the kid's behavior to make sure they, and others, stop the bullying.

9:18PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Char, I can think of far worse uses for this money than brightening the day of an elderly woman who was subject to undeserved torment by those thoughtless brats...oh, and she didn't "choose to be a victim", but was instead victimized by those kids.

Yes, there are plenty of people who endure bullying and aren't financially compensated for it (myself included), but if people chose to donate to Ms. Klein, that's their business. As for her not taking any action to stop the verbal attacks as they occured, consider how lawsuit-happy our modern culture is, and maybe you'll understand why she was limited as to any action(s) she could take during that time.

Oh, and have you ever donated to any of these other people you mention that need the $$$ more than Ms. Klein, by any chance? Just wondering...

8:33PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

I admire this kind woman and am so glad that her life will be easier financially.

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