Greece, NY (WPIX) — A disturbing video posted Monday to YouTube shows four middle school students verbally harassing their bus monitor, Karen Klein, a hearing impaired grandmother of eight.
The students’ relentless harassment of the woman, who sits taking it, has since prompted anger — and an outpouring of vacation (or possibly retirement) money from supporters.
The video shows four students of Greece Athena Middle School in Greece, NY harassing Klein about her weight and threatening physical harm upon her. Klein, who has worked the last twenty years in the Greece Central School District claims to have never received such animosity from students in her career, according to reports.
Throughout video, the children verbally assault the woman, calling her a b****, fat a**, poor and ugly.
Perhaps the most hurtful moment comes when one boy on the bus says to Klein “You don’t have a family because they all killed themselves because they didn’t want to be near you.”
Klein’s oldest son took his own life ten years ago, according to WHAM News in Rochester.
Greece Police have interviewed four of the students, but none have been charged yet.
Shortly after the video’s posting, Klein starting receiving emotional support in the comment box, and then financial support as donations poured in to fund a vacation. The fund, set up on the website Indiegogo — a crowdsourcing site for campaigners – is now reaching the point where Klein may even be able to think about retirement. The total is over $300,000 with 29 days still to go.
The fundraiser was started by Reddit user Max Sidorov of Toronto, Canada. When Sidorov found out the amount of Klein’s yearly wage ($15,506, according to a district website) he decided that was not enough money to have to deal such harassment.
“I thought we would raise a few thousand, max.” Sidorov told Mashable. “But this… this could hit double her yearly wage.”
“As soon as I heard of Karen Huff Klein … I had to create a fundraiser here for this nice lady,” Sidorov writes in his profile. “Let’s give Karen a vacation of a lifetime, let’s show her the power of the internets and how kind and generous people can be.”