News

Plight Of Bus Monitor Bullied By Middle Schoolers Gets Overwhelming Response From Public

Online Campaign Raises $429,000 -- And Counting -- For Karen Klein
(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

GREECE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – An upstate bus monitor who was seen in an online video being bullied by middle school students has decided not to press charges.

Police in Greece, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester, said 68-year-old Karen Klein doesn’t want the four, seventh-grade boys involved to be criminally charged.

“At this time, she has decided she does not want to press criminal charges if they were able to be pressed,” said Greece police Capt. Steve Chatterton. “She’s happy with the school district’s response and we’re leaving it open so she could change her mind at a later time.”

Monday’s incident was captured in a 10-minute cell phone video that was posted to YouTube. The video went viral and by Thursday morning, it had been viewed on YouTube more than 1.5 million times.

It shows Klein trying her best to ignore a stream of profanity and insults.

“I tried to ignore him,” Klein said. “That’s why I didn’t hear some of the stuff, because I’m just trying to shut them out.”

WARNING: OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE

The students insulted her weight and looks — calling her “fat” and saying she looks “like a troll” — and threatened to egg her house.

At one point, a student even says Klein’s family killed themselves to not be anywhere near her. Klein’s eldest son committed suicide a decade ago.

The abuse drove Klein to tears.

At least 10 minutes of the bullying was recorded, but it is unclear how long the taunting lasted.

But since being posted, thousands have left messages of support for Klein.

An online campaign was launched to raise money to send Klein on vacation. By midnight Friday, an astonishing $429,000 had been raised.

Police have met will all of the students from the video, Chatterton said.

“We were able to identify all four individuals involved and we have spoken to all four individuals and their families,” he said. “They’ve taken responsibility for their actions.”

He said the parents of all of the boys are fully cooperating and told police their children will be punished.

The student who recorded the video has also apologized, saying he taped it due to peer pressure and wishes he hadn’t.

The Greece school district is also investigating the incident and could take disciplinary action against the students involved.

Klein, who has eight grandsons, has worked for the school system for 23 years.

Do you think the students should be disciplined? What is the proper punishment? Let us know below…