What People Are Saying About Bullied Bus Monitor Karen Klein

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bullyingBy now you’ve probably heard of Karen Klein, the 68-year-old bus monitor in Greece, New York, who was bullied by a bunch of middle school boys earlier this week. Someone caught the whole thing on his cell phone, posted it to YouTube and, well, we all know how it goes from there. The video went viral and it’s not surprising that people are having such strong reactions to it.

The videos show students verbally abusing the grandmother of eight, who at one point breaks into tears; they make fun of her weight and her low income and, even worse, they call her a child rapist before threatening to hurt her. It’s heartbreaking stuff, that’s for sure, and it reminds us that bullying doesn’t end after high school.

Klein spent the entire day yesterday making her media rounds, speaking with everyone from Anderson Cooper to Ryan Seacrest. Some of the boys have since apologized, but Klein’s not buying it (she’d like them to be banned from the bus and forbidden from playing any sports for a year). Though, surprisingly, when asked by Anderson Cooper if she thought the boys were bad kids, Klein responded, “Not really, not deep down.”

Robert Helm, the father of one of the boys, has also apologized on his son’s behalf. “I would say I’m sorry. This is not the way I raised my kids. I never would in my wildest dreams think they were capable of this,” he said, adding that he plans to get professional help for his son.

Meanwhile, 25-year-old Torontonian Max Sidorov has set up an online fundraiser to help send Klein on a vacation or even early retirement. The site has so far raised nearly half a million dollars (more than $118,000 poured in on the first day alone). Southwest airlines has also offered to fly Klein and nine other people to Disneyland for free.

Of course, everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Matt Lauer has been weighing in on the incident – here’s a roundup of the top  tweets on Karen Klein.