A former bus driver, who in her senior years works as a bus monitor, sat patiently through ten minutes of relentless and brutal bullying by middle school kids on her route.
Now the video has gone viral and an online social media community has rallied together to support her and raise the money to send her on a vacation.
As is normal for the Reddit website, users were inspired to donate and within 24 hours the total surpassed $160,000, and soared higher every minute, as more people watched the video and sympathized with the blue-collar senior. Max Sidorov created the fundraising page and has provided all the contact details and updates that ensured the effort was not a scam. By the next day, the mainstream media was publicizing the story and the donations hit a whopping $600K.
The video of Karen Huff Klein, who works in the school district in Greece, N.Y. where the bullying students are “facing strong disciplinary actions”, reached the Reddit community yesterday, where there arose this post from a user named, razorsheldon:
“As awful as this was, there was a silver lining in not only the universal condemnation of the actions of these kids, but also in a call for support for this poor woman. She has been a widow for 17 years, has lived in the same town she grew up in and is about to have her 50th high school reunion in the same school district, and deserves so much better than the actions shown by those in this video. Let’s show her that there are still good people out there.”
Media attention locally has been swift and while one reporter was at Karen’s home, several flower deliveries were being sent.
While you may want to search out the original video documenting the ten-minute shower of hate she received — being called fat, sweaty, poor, and stupid, accented by so many curse words and f-bombs — the 68-year-old bus monitor kept extraordinarily calm and mostly unresponsive, except to give them advice : “If you don’t have anything good to say, you shouldn’t say anything.”
“I tried to ignore them,” she told a Democrat and Chronicle news producer. But she does hope the bullying students will learn a valuable lesson.
[UPDATE: The police have delivered written apologies from the four boys to Karen’s house. And, in a Pay-it-forward moment, someone created a fundraising page to thank MAX for making the magic happen for Karen.]
(WATCH the interview with the lovely Ms. Klein below – or read their story at the Dem and Chronicle)