Middle schoolers bully bus monitor, 68, with stream of profanity
GREECE, New York — A profanity-laced video of middle school students in upstate New York verbally abusing a bus monitor is sparking an outpouring of support as strangers worldwide rally to her side.
In the video, the students taunt Karen Klein, 68, with a stream of profanity, insults, jeers and physical ridicule.
Some boys demand to know her address, saying they want to come to her house to perform sexual acts and steal from her.
The bullying continues unabated for about 10 minutes in the video, reducing Klein to tears as a giggling student jabs her arm with a book in one instance.
“Oh my God, you’re so fat,” one says.
Klein, a bus monitor for the Greece Central School District, said she tried her best to disregard the harassment. The students involved attend Greece Athena middle school.
“I tried to ignore it … I didn’t hear some stuff and tried to shut them out,” Klein told CNN affiliate WHAM.
She said one comment from a boy aboard the bus was especially painful. He tells her that she does not have family because “they all killed themselves because they didn’t want to be near you.”
Klein’s oldest son took his own life 10 years ago, according to the affiliate.
CNN attempts to reach all parties involved Wednesday were unsuccessful.
The video prompted an outpouring of support and a fundraiser by an international crowd funding site that had gathered more than $100,000 by early Thursday.
“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,” the fundraiser‘s organizer said on the website. The organizer did not respond to CNN requests for comment on the website.
The school district said its bullying team and the local police are conducting an investigation.
“We have discovered other similar videos on YouTube and are working to identify all of the students involved,” the school district said in a statement.
It did not elaborate on whether the additional videos are related to Klein’s case.
“While we cannot comment on specific student discipline, we can say that students found to be involved will face strong disciplinary action,” the school district said.
The students involved are minors, according to the school district. CNN does not name minors involved in alleged crimes unless they are charged as adults.
Officials involved in the investigation will hold a news conference Thursday.
Below is the YouTube video of Klein being bullied. WARNING: Video may be disturbing to some viewers.
Credit: Faith Karimi, CNN. CNN’s Stephanie Gallman and Darrell Calhoun contributed to this report.