In a cringe-inducing cell phone video, 68-year-old Karen Klein is bullied relentlessly by middle school students. Klein is bombarded with profane language, insults, threats and cruel taunts. The students repeatedly call the mother of four and grandmother of eight ugly, a troll, smelly and worse.
Klein is just trying to do her job; she's the bus monitor for students in Greece, New York. In the video you can see she's surrounded by the kids leaning out of their seats to harass her, and even touch her while calling her fat.
At one point, she tries to ignore them and look the other way when one of the boys jabs the backside of her arm with his finger and then a book, prompting the others to comment on her "jiggle" and "flab."
Early on in the clip when Klein is visibly shaken, she tells the boys she's crying. One of them responds, "She probably misses her box of Twinkies." The intimidation continues when they ask where she lives so they can "piss" on her door, perform sexual acts and steal from her.
The pre-teen bullies want to find out just how poor their bus monitor is so they demand to know how much she paid for her purse and if her home is a trailer. One guesses, "she probably eats deodorant because she can't afford real food." The verbal assault includes a back and forth where the kids one up each other by guessing what would pour out of Klein's stomach if they stab her.
Perhaps the most painful part of the video is what's heard last when one of the students says "you don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they didn't want to be near you." Klein's oldest son committed suicide 10 years ago, according to CNN affiliate WHAM.
After video of the degrading scene went viral, a fund raiser page was created on a website to give Klein a vacation. The original goal was $5,000 - the total surpassed $200,000 Thursday afternoon and continues to climb.
Tonight Anderson Cooper will talk to Klein about the incident, ask what she wants to see happen to the kids and how she feels about the huge outpouring of support for her. He'll also get her reaction to the following statements from two students who were part of the incident and two parents of students involved:
Josh: "I am so sorry for the way I treated you. When I saw the video I was disgusted and could not believe I did that. I am sorry for being so mean and I will never treat anyone this way again."
Wesley: "I feel really bad about what I did. I wish I had never done those things. If that had happened to someone in my family, like my mother or grandmother, I would be really mad at the people who did that to them."
Wesley’s mom: “I cannot even tell you how badly I feel. I am deeply sorry for what my son did. I wish there was some way to make it up to you. I would like it if he could do some work for you or help you in some way. I'm sure that you don't want him anywhere near you or your property and I don't blame you. I am embarrassed, angry and sad about the awful way he treated you. I am truly sorry.”
Luis’ father: "We apologize, from the bottom of our hearts on what happened. We wish this will never happen again, to nobody and from nobody. Like Luis said, if your friend says to bully somebody, please don't do it....A couple of people have already died because of this. We apologize to Ms. Klein. We're deeply sorry."
See the interview at 8 and 10 p.m. ET tonight.
I sure hope the parents of these bullys are proud of them now. This poor woman is just doing her job, leave her alone but obviously they were bored and had nothing else to do with their time. You parents should be so ashamed of your kids, yo u obviously did not raise your kids to respect elders and keep their punk mouth shut. I am so happy that this gem of a woman is getting so much money from well-doers so at this point she can snub her nose at these punk bullys, retire and forget about the whole thing.
How can you say she was doing her job? Her job was to be a bus monitor. Aren't they the ones who are supposed to put a stop to this type of behaviour? I know this is not a popular point of view, but I think she should be fired from her job. She obviously can't do what she needs to do to keep control on the bus. What about the other children who were on the bus? Who is protecting them? Did she report this incident after it happened? Or would anyone have known about it if it wasn't posted on the internet? It's people like this who let this kind of behaviour continue and other kids then think it's OK. Who is in charge here? The parents are not on the bus so it is difficult to blame them.
We lost our Grandson, Dylan Roach, on May 12th. He took his own life due to being bullied. It the worst thing a family can go through. Dylan was one of three boys that had taken their lives this spring in our area. My heart just ached for the bus driver but I was also pleased to see that those students stepped up to what they had done. Let's hope they will now think before acting out and maybe they will be able to stop other students from doing the same thing. When Dylan passed we bought 500 wrist bands that had his name on them plus said Stop The Bullying. The second bunch of 200 had his name but the message was changed to Be Kind. Friends of the family are having a Dylan's Run Memorial Ride on July 14th in hope to raise money for the cause. Dylan's Father, Step-Mother, and Brothers are working to have some type of program for the start of Eaton's next school year. Maybe they will also be able to reach all of our schools in the county. If parents, teachers, school officials, etc. don't get involved nothing will change. We need programs for those being bullied and those doing it. Thanks for letting me vent!
I would love to see Ms Klein take a very well deserved vacation and then donate the rest of the money raised to an anti-bulllying campaign in her area. I also think that the children involved (with their parents) should be required to volunteer for an agency in their area that supports anti-bullying.
There are plenty out there!
I absolutely LOVE her ideas of not letting them ride the bus for a year, NO sports for a year and community service. I would add to that no field trips or dances next year, they need to learn consequences before they get to high school.
This story makes me so angry I'm shaking. I truly can't imagine kids that are capable of such vile cruelty could ever really feel remorse over what they did. They're probably just apologizing to get the pressure off of themselves. Hopefully, though, the outrage over this horrible episode will push those kids (and their parents) to change and maybe become better people in the process.
I feel so sorry for Karen Klein!
IMHO, the parents of these kids are probably bullies themselves. They created these lil monsters, & no one would have known how awful their kids really are, if this video hadn't been posted on Youtube. If anything at all comes of this, I think an intervention by the local Children's Aid Society & some Social Workers might delve into what kind of parenting these boys had, & why they are so hate filled.
There is probably a lot more going on @ this school with these boys, & I hope that students who have been victimized will have the sense to come forward NOW, rather than later, when the school & the school board can sweep those concerns under the rug.
I know just how Ms.Klein felt, I"ve been a lunch suppervisor for 11years now and I put up with that about 8 years because it was all one family, there were 12 kids all related the last one graduated this year thank god for that. The oldest boy would follow me around the school grounds calling me all dirty filthy names and I too would just let on I didn"t hear a word he was saying and that made him really mad, untill one day my youngest son beat the snot right out of himon the school yard in front of all the other kids and it stopped. My son was in trouble when he come home for fighting it"s not the way you settle things.And yes I do agree 99% of this comes from home, how can we teach these kids respect at school if the parents don"t teach it at home? Parents today need to get more involved with their kids and teach them to respect older people, all people, if they don"t have respect they have nothing. I feel real bad for Ms. Klein because I know what it feels like to put up with this crap but it just shows you that we are a better persons than what they are. So Ms. Klein keep your head up high you know you are the better person, their just punks that need an ass-whopping.
i saw the bus video yesterday and i was so disgusted with the kids behavior and so AMAZED at how this woman made it through and this was only what we SAW of what she went through, probably on a daily basis. when she just said, 'i don't feel like i've done anything, i cried and said 'yes you have, you've endured'.
Back when we were kids you were afraid to ay anything wrong cause you didn't want your parents to find out, cause back then you got punished, not like kids today who usually have no fear what so ever these days. Mostly cause their parents tell them don't worry I will always back you up etc. even when they know their kid is wrong. Its like they are afraid to discipline their child. Better they know there is a consequence at home and that they are held to a standard by their parents. No matter the apologies given now which more then likely are due to the trouble and embarrassment their parents are dealing with seem very little solace for the emotional harm and the disgusting manner in which they behaved, they are lucky this woman has been as kind as she has been. Their parents may feel they have nothing to do with this but in fact they learned this behavior because of their parents, this type of behavior is learned at home. They have showed them in some way its okay to talk down to people this way. They better brush up on their parental skills. I hope Karen takes that vacation and has the time of her life.
I'm glad to hear that the parents are taking responsibility, rather than justifying or defending the actions of their children.
there is no way I could look at that video, in it's entirety, because all I could see was my mother, my mother-in-law, my grandmother,... every older adult that I have ever known, sitting there, taking that abuse – and it made me angrier and angrier.
I have 6 kids, and, as they grew up, I preached nothing but "RESPECT of person" – living day-to-day is tough enough, so that is the least you can do for any and everybody you meet in life. Some would say it's a result of 26-yrs in the military, but I'd tell them it's because of my parents... old-school, or not, they raised me right ! Let this story be a lesson to everyone in the world.
i would like to see some of her family interviewed. what do they have to say about how she was treated.
This is a very despicable act coming from children who are suppose to be leaders of tomorrow.I think that parents should learn how to train their children to avoid an embarrassment like this.. .......
I couldn't believe this story. These kids are a reflection of their parents and should be punished. How do these parents sleep at night knowing they raised these kind of kids. What a disappointment!!!
exactly. it comes from upbringing.
Well, almost everybody is blaming the school, but the school has no power over this kids because of the system and the parents, they cant punish the kids, so its a high time our system start thinking about how to deal with this kids and parents start displining this kids.
The school monitor probably have no power over the kids and they seem to know it. If Ms. Klein would have acted sh probably would have lost her job. Her restraint is phenominal. I wish the bus driver would have taken the kids back to school and have them disciplined. Inconvinience the parents to pick up their kids and make them aware of their children's unexceptable behavior. I just wonder if the kids are truely apologitic because they got caught. It would e interesting if they did learn their lessons and correct the wrong when they see others being abusive to others.
I am shocked that you are shocked. I have taught school as a regular education and special education teacher for over 25 years, and for the last 15 years this kind of disrespect for any adults has become very common. This wonderful grandmother deserves a medal for bravery. She was given a job that she obviously had no training for so she did not have the tools needed to stop the situation. She also had a job that she did not want to lose because she didn't know what she could do. She actually did the right thing. Heaven forbid if she had tried to protect herself. She would have been sued by the parents for harming their wonderful children. Also, many supervisors don't want these behaviors brought to their attention or exposed to the public because they might have to do something or even confront irate parents. As I watched this bus situation progress, it was evident that the students were emboldened by the fact that the monitor was so composed and did not respond. Since a student was recording this whole episode, they must have been very disappointed when the monitor could not be provoked. Their plan was foiled because they had really wanted to catch an adult abusing them verbally, physically or both and put their planned version on the internet. The students should be off the bus and have family counseling since these behaviors are rooted in their home environment.
You nailed it on the head. I would hope the school district would kick them off the bus and remove them from any extracurricular activities for the following school year. Maybe some service hours cleaning up the school, etc would be good too along with some serious discussions with them and their parents. Completely uncalled for and flat out just rude. I was appalled at the abuse they just continued to hand this lady. I hope the money they have raised for her online does find its way to her but like she said, I wouldn't hold my breath for it.
this is so disgusting how can such young boys be so cruel? The worst part is I bet they won't even stop and I'm very sure that there not sorry for their actions, their just sorry because they got caught. I hope the school and parents will give a harsh punishment to these boys. This is also a good reminder that we should treat everyone respectfully.
Karen deserves a medal on not-reacting and feeding into these bullies. These children definitely need consequences. Sometimes authority consequences don't get the point across, the kids take it as a joke and seem proud for some reason. As I am a parent I would take away their cell phone, computers and TV unless watching as a family night and allow them minimum time with their friends for the summer break. They would have to do community service and that service would be volunteering at a local adult nursing home every day for their summer vacation. Each of the four would go to different nursing homes, no more smirks between them. This is usually a punishment for the parents too, getting them there, hearing how bored they are and "stuck to the parents side " these parents are at fault too, because they did not or did not talk enough to their children on how to treat mankind. These children should have to earn their phones, computer and freedom back and convince their parent(s) that they will behave as we are all expected to behave. Suspending them from the bus is good, hits the parents responsibilty as well, keeping them in sports would be better because they are involved in something that is healthy and learning team building and communication. something that is healthy for them, dont' take that away.
Beverly, I like your idea more than any I have read so far. I hope the parents see it this way and do what is right. The kids have to be punished. I see that two have stepped up, where are the other two?
Really, some fairly shallow posts here. Karen is a bus monitor not an enforcer,operative word Monitor! Just what we need TSA on school buses. Why aren't cameras installed on these buses! Good luck Karen, your Awesome in my book.
I admire how calm Ms. Klein was the whole time. She truly has a forgiving heart even though the boys deserve severe punishment.
The kids' youth is already ruined with this story going viral. Rest assured, all you people out there with your torches and pitchforks!
There are so many things wrong with this entire event.
Having to work at her age; I assume to make ends meet, but that is our economy. These days its work until you are literally in your grave.
I personally give her a round of applause for not wanting to beat the kids at that moment! Being put in that position is a difficult place to be. That would be a difficult postion for a teacher to be in. If you correct them parents complain, if you don't do something about it society complains. Wake up everyone it starts at home. I love the billboards outside of schools, As I once read on several billboard directed at parents, " What are you teaching at home tonight" and Another said, " Education begins at home". Punish the kids, punish the parents; apologies arent' enough. The kids need to be the examples. Society is afraid to punish kids for fear of being labled as harsh, bring back the corpral punishment. It worked for us why can't it work for today's kids.
To start off, I have been bullied around the same way since I was in 5th grade and slowly got worst and Now i am a sophomore and still fear it. I t has scared me for life, Don't talk to many people but adults now. I feel for her, I cried every time this has popped up on the news today. From my own feelings from being bullied and from what happened to her, I think they kids should not be able to move on to the next grade, not be able to be at school for the whole year and do 100 hours of community service. They should not get away with a slap on the wrist at all.
Wow those kid need a major wake up call ! That is BEYOND unacceptable, she kept her cool though which is what i admire most about her, brought tears to my eyes because I know what it's like to be a victim of bullying. God bless her.
My kids attended a very good parochial school. The kids, for the most part, were very well behaved, and the parents were very engaged in their kids education. When our kids "acted out" on the bus, disrespected the bus driver, etc., their bus privileges were revoked for 6 mos, a year, or the remainder of their grade school years.....YES, at the inconvenience of the parents. As it should be. Afterall, those are YOUR children, and your responsibility. While I cringed when I saw this, at the very least, it will incite a GIANT discussion between kids and their parents, and if the parents have hearts and brains, they will tell their kids you don't follow the rules SOLELY to avoid punishment, you do it primarily out of respect for others. That concept seems to be foreign to a lot of people these days!
unfortunately, it seems that the parents are saying that everyone is overreacting... I imagine the conversation at home is "why did you post the video on youtube? cover your tracks next time.."
over-reacting? Did they watch what came out of their children's mouths? I mean, I would be worried I had some future murderer or rapist. This isn't mis-behaving, this is disturbing behavior that needs serious consequences.
One more thing. If this was not exposed then how often do you think this did or would occur I. Future. Come on she had a job responsibility and didn't fulfill it.
How are you gonna sit there and type that bs? "She didn't do her job" I'd like to see you deal with four kids that get the notion to mess with you on a school bus. It's not like anything you say/do will stop them. Hell, one even threatened to stab her while another made the comment that her family should kill themselves when she lost her son 10 years prior. I want to see anyone deal with that and not get emotional.
She is a 68 year old grandmother against 4 young boys, who knows what they may have in their backpacks or what they may have done to her later if she tried to stop them. She handled it beautifully as any well polished woman would have.
Look up the position. She is required to stop all bulleying. Her job description is clear and seems like she could not fulfill the description. Not excusing the cowardly mob mentality of dumb kids. She was hired to do a job she was not capable of doing. The employers should be held accountable as well as those who bullied. Her job description equired her to handle these types of situations. She did not. shame on the employers shame on the kids. And sad for her employers put her in that position
It is almost impossible to find someone who can control the kids today. They have the law on their side as well as knowing mom and dad make excuses for them at every turn. The disrespect for adults in our world today is disgusting. As has been said many times, the parents are not teaching the children right from wrong.
Words cannot describe the punishment my child would face if they came home and I found out they were involved in this. I have never needed to lay one hand on my daughter who is now 14. Makes me think how horrible of parents these kids must have! I say punish the kids and send the parents to parenting classes. See how mommy and daddy react then!!! It's truly hard to watch this video!
Agree completely Tony! Starts at home
When I heard this story this morning I was completely heart broken. As a victim of bullying myself- all throughout elementary and highschool.
I once took a school bus with my friend in elementary – which I thought would be fun. I was tormented. Kids threw things at me and called me names. I think it was the first panic attack I ever had.
I'm very sorry to hear about your son ma'am, I too have known the loss of a loved one in this manner. The pain doesn't go away. I've spent sleepless nights wondering why. It is beyond me how someone can say these things to anyone – to a human being.
I feel that these children seriously need to go to some sort of reform school. They need to know how to treat human beings.
My heart goes out to you Ma'am. You're brave for stepping forward. And I wish you the most amazing vacation – to fill with beautiful memories that will cover the ugliness that this has caused.
Love, Serena J. Montreal,qc
Do not believe that these kids were probably caught in the moment. They are not mentally challenged. They made actual threats.
This just shows what a younger version of uncivility and lack of knowledge of RESPECT is.
Another example of an older, ADULT version was that reporter in the Rose Garden that interupted POTUS while making a speech. He should also be accountable and responsible for his vulgarity.
He was probably just like the parents condones this and does it at home. These Kids learn all this at home.
Punish the parents as well. Charge them with abuse of elderly and community hours 1,000 hours sounds like a good example.
I remember the days when "if you got in trouble at school" the punishment was even worse when you got home and faced Mom or Dad, especially Dad...now a days the parents go to school and get mad at the teacher/principal for daring to say anything to their "precious little brats"....these are parents who aren't the best roll models anyway. Shame on them. We had a young boy come to our house to "trick or treat" and his older brother was with him, the young one started to grab all the candy in the bowl, his brother said "don't do that, sorry they aren't teaching him right in school" I didn't say anything but of course I'm thinking, school, what about learning manners at home!!!
I am a school bus driver and i had a 15 year old girl on my bus who is bi-polar. I drive special ed kids in a six seat bus and this girl was threatening to me and the other students. I had a mixture of emotionally disturbed kids and kids with down syndrome, and this girl would bully the other kds to where they held their heads down until they got off the bus. I wrote her up many times because their is a process to go by. I finally told my supervisor that i was going to tell the other parents what their kids are subject to on a daily basis. Told i would be fired because im invading her privacy. I finally got her off my bus but to this day, when i drive in the direction of her house, i start to sweat.
I think this is not uncommon. I had a friend, a wonderful English teacher who not only was a good teacher academically, but she genuinely cared about each and every student in her class. She had a boy who threatened to kill her over a grade, slashed her tires and left her threatening notes. The response of the school was to make excuses for the boy because he was in Special Ed. In the end, my friend resigned and left the teaching profession altogether. What a loss for the profession!
This boy who threatened my friend should have been taken out of the school – at the very least – and told by the police that he was their number one suspect if anything happened to this teacher. His parents should have had their wages or welfare docked in order to (if only partially) pay for counselling. One of the problems with parents like this is they do nothing to control their children when they are in primary school and by the time they get into their teens they are well and truly uncontrollable. Then they shrug their shoulders and say, "There isn't anything I can do with him." Well, money talks and I think these parents would be a lot more motivated to provide consequences if they themselves were partially held responsible for their own child's behaviour.
School needs to be a safe place for other students if we expect learning to take place. Teachers also need to feel safe.
I give you credit for fighting the good fight to get that nasty kid off the bus and to protect the other children. My experience is that school districts in America don't listen to teachers or staff members, they listen to parents. Too bad the parents of the good kids didn't get involved and demand the mean boy be taken off the bus until he could learn to behave – if only to sit alone and not bother the other kids. The s.chool might have listened then
Hey, Anderson, Michael Pearl's kids wouldn't speak to a bus monitor like that.
I just heard from a friend that a father of one of these kids was quoted as saying to leave his son alone – that he has suffered enough. Are you kidding! This is what is wrong with adults with children today. God forbid I had done anything remotely like this, my father would be out saying his son was completely wrong, that I had lost all privileges for the foreseeable future, that I would be doing community service for all of the summer vacation and that I would be soon be apologizing to Mrs. Klein in person.....just for starters. And I intentionally said adult with children earlier since I do not think they should be called a parent.
These kids should be banned from the bus for the remainder of the year, and for at LEAST 6 months of the NEXT school year! If they don't know how to behave appropriately, they sure don't deserve the priviledge of a bus ride! Let the parents drive them! Maybe THEN they'll get punished at home as well! What this poor woman had to endure was shameful!
I just got finished submitting my donation. It is great to see how many people are contributing as Karen deserves to be able to retire. As it relates to the kids – even though she does not want to press charges, something should be done to hold them accountable – I think they should have to do community service fro tor their entire summer vacation. And on a bigger note, I hope America starts waking up and start returning to when people are held accountable. We have turned into a society that is not respectful of others, bad manners and a society that have very low expectations of others.
This is unnaceptable and the worst is that most schools have no system in place for dealing with it.
What scares me most about this is that the bus monitor is there to monitor the students on the bus in order to so keep our children safe from this type of bullying. This poor women could not hear the terrible things that were being said to her, which makes me think that she also could not have been protecting the students from the same abuse that she enured.
I agree Teri. I would never condone bullying under any circumstances. This story disturbs me in many ways. Being a monitor on a school and this adult woman could not stand up for herself. Was she expected to help or protect innocent children? Now she is being given money. Maybe she should have never been on that bus in the first place.
If these kids bullied her, are they bullying innocent kids in their school? Do those kids get compensated for their torment also?
What message is being sent by compensating this woman when she was responsible for "monitoring" children?
The following comments from her are disturbing as well:
Klein said she hopes the spectacle "might help other people." And, she said, she hopes that these children "get their share of someone bullying them."
"I hope what goes around comes around," she said.
I find it unbelievable that anyone considered this woman emotionally and mentally competent to be "monitoring" anyone, much less kids.
It is unfortunate that we have to have bus monitors.
Really Cathy? How would you have suggested she handle that? I'd like to know. As a bus monitor all she could have done is asked them to stop, and maybe have written them up. Do you think asking these kids to stop would have worked? Do you think informing them that they would be written up would have worked? Basically the only direction school employees have to go is to talk to the children, and try to instill character traits in them through education. If there is a situation that arrises, again they can speak with a parent (which is most of the time a useless step, because of the "it's not my kids fault" mentality. Past that, the child could be written up and/or suspended. Even when talking to the children the school employees have to be careful to maintain the balance of not "putting down" the student, but putting down the behavior. Like I said, I'm not really sure what you think could have been done differently that would have stopped these hateful, poisonous, little tongues.
HEART-WRENCHING and incredibly sad to see how cruel kids can be. They are probably caught up inthe moment of other bullies and feel the need to chime in, instead of being above the influence.
Here is my question though – what are we teaching kids today where they do this. Kids do not have consequences anymore. My father never layed a hand on me growing up – but he didn't have to. All I would see is the "look" and I knew I better behave.
They should show the faces of those brats! I don't care how young they are. They probably learned that behavior at home, or no one has told them "STOP! This is wrong!" I'll be willing to bet the farm that they go to church on Sundays!
Eh most of those kids personal information and details are now on the internet so I wouldn't worry too much about them getting what they deserve, and all the attention they never wanted.
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