$500,000 raised for grandma Karen Klein after video abuse
A video viral showing 68-year-old Karen Klein being tormented by children sparked outrage and support
A VIDEO of a 68-year-old US school bus monitor being mercilessly taunted by pupils has become an international online rallying point against bullies. A fund for the New York grandmother has already raised $453,000, and the figure is rising fast.
Police said the victim, Karen Klein, does not want the children to face criminal charges, partly because of the storm of criticism levelled at the boys from Rochester, New York after the video went viral.
"They've received death threats," police Captain Steve Chatterton said yesterday. "Their families have been threatened. We have custody of one of their mobile phones, and he had over 1,000 missed calls and 1,000 text messages threatening him. And he's 13 years old. That must stop."
The verbal abuse was captured in a 10-minute mobile phone video recorded on Monday by a student of Athena Middle School in suburban Rochester and later posted to YouTube, reports Sabotage Times.
The video shows Klein trying her best to ignore the stream of profanity, insults and outright threats directed at her. One student taunted: "You don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they don't want to be near you."
Klein's oldest son killed himself 10 years ago. Eventually, she appears to break down in tears.
"You want to jump into that bus and you want to grab those kids and say 'Knock it off!' And you want to hold her," said Amy Weber, a 43-year-old independent filmmaker from the Detroit area who pledged $100 through the international crowd-funding site Indiegogo.com.
The page was started by a man calling himself Max S, who wrote of Klein: “She doesn’t earn nearly enough ($15,506) to deal with some of the trash she is surrounded by. Let's give her something she will never forget, a vacation of a lifetime!”
Klein told NBC's Today show it took "a lot of willpower" not to respond to the jeers from the four boys riding the bus operated by the school district. She said she was "amazed" at the support she received.
"I've got these nice letters, emails, Facebook messages," she said. "It's like, wow, there's a whole world out there that I didn't know. It's really awesome."