A YouTube video showing a group of New York middle schoolers taunt an elderly bus monitor was nearing 4,000,000 views three days after it was posted on June 19.
The kids in the video use harsh language, at one point even telling the 68-year-old widow, "You don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they don't want to be near you."
As the YouTube hits have shot up so too have donations in support of Karen Klein, who, throughout the whole ordeal, did not show any emotion apart from holding back a few tears.
As of Friday morning, 22,000 funders had donated $472,000 to an online account with the description, "Lets give her something she will never forget, a vacation of a lifetime!"
Some of the comments left on the fundraising website:
- Norm: My contribution is my vote against bullying. A fine example of grace under pressure by Karen.
- Benjamin: Heart goes out to you. I wish I was on that bus, I’d have put them kids in their place.
- Lindsay: Kids can be cruel. Your story moved us in Kitchener, ON, Canada
Comments from some of your neighbors:
- It's disgusting that kids my age aren't mature enough to know to not do such a thing. - Brandon Cleland
- I am glad that there are videotapes on buses and there should be monitors on buses. When children can't even respect elders, they should not be able to ride the bus. - Diana Chianese
- I found it incredibly disturbing, and I know it happens everywhere. I found it inspirational that so many people were motivated by it and raised over a half million dollars to help the poor woman retire and take a wonderful vacation. Even an airline donated a trip for nine to Disney World. I believe the best and the worst in people came out in this situation. I am incredibly happy for this woman now, and I am glad all of the students, and students not even involved, apologized for their disgusting behavior. So not only did she get closure for this animosity, she also got rewarded for her patience and diligence in this horrific situation. - Christine Sedita
- A written apology was a cop out. To me, a good punishment would be for their school to have an assembly on bullying (which I'm sure they already do, as most schools do now) but make an example of these kids and have them sitting on stage in front of their peers and say that bullying doesn't just happen kid-against-kid. I'm sure if this incident didn't go viral, it would have been swept under the rug. - Lucy Rinaldi Alleva
- I am a 67-year-old "gigi," and I give this woman so much credit for being so brave and not to answer these totally awful kids. My heart goes out to her and anyone else who has to take such verbal abuse. The parents of all these "BULLIES" need to stand in front of a Judge and with their "BULLIES" take the punishment that should be placed upon them. Why would parents allow such awful behavior? They should never be allowed to ride the school bus again; (they should) walk to school or have their parents drive them. But, they need to do lots and lots of community service - senior center, church and perhaps go to a place for learning the correct way to behave in life. - Linda Ramos
Have you seen the footage or heard of Karen's story? What was your initial reaction?
- Make them do community service in a retirement home, a children's cancer ward and a homeless shelter. They will begin to appreciate life and the meaning of human compassion. God Bless that woman for her tolerating those ignorant children. Hugs to her! - Kimberly Biagioni Freer