A viral YouTube video (watch at end of article) showing a 68-year-old bus monitor in New York being verbally abused by students on the bus has resulted in a touching response by tens of thousands of well-wishers. The ten-minute video shows Karen Klein, a grandmother of eight who rides along on a bus serving Greece Central School District near Rochester, N.Y., being bullied and berated by a group of foul-mouthed students on the bus.
Although the student who shot the video using his cell phone apparently intended to continue the harassment by posting it to the Internet, the result was far different. According to Fox News, once the video caught on — making its way to Facebook, Twitter, and hundreds of news reports — individuals outraged by the behavior of the kids began sending donations to Klein. What started out as an effort by one man to raise a few thousand dollars to send Klein on a much-deserved vacation has turned into a fund of more than $600,000 that Klein will be able to use for retirement. Fox News reported that Klein has worked as both a driver and monitor for the bus company for more than 20 years.
The New York Daily News reported that as of June 23, the 10-minute video had received nearly five million views, and over 28,000 sympathetic viewers had sent in donations via the IndieGogo fundraising website where Max Sidorov, a 25-year-old man from Toronto, had launched the campaign on Klein’s behalf.
“It was just sickening to see, it was disgusting what these kids were doing,” said Sidorov of the video. “I felt very, very bad for Karen. I know how tormenting it can feel to be bullied. The best thing I decided to do was to send her on a vacation away from there.”
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Photo: In this video image taken from AP video, bus monitor Karen Klein speaks during an interview, June 21, 2012, in Greece, N.Y.: Images