Bullied bus monitor to collect donations in Toronto
Published Tuesday, September 11, 2012 9:26AM EDT
An American grandmother who was bullied by children while working as a school bus monitor received a cheque Tuesday from a Good Samaritan in Toronto who helped raise more than $700,000 on her behalf.
Sixty-eight-year-old Karen Klein, of Greece, New York, accepted a cheque for $703,833 from Max Sidorov during an event in Toronto on Tuesday.
Klein was pushed into the public spotlight earlier this year after a video showing several children harassing her on their way to school went viral.
“I am just hoping that the kids get something out of all this. I have,” Klein told reporters on Tuesday. “I found out there are a lot of wonderful, wonderful people out there that have been bullied. They were bullied when they were children and haven’t forgotten.”
Sidorov, 25, launched a fundraising campaign on the website Indiegogo after watching the video. The campaign raised more than $700,000 with 32,000 donations from across the globe.
The video shows Klein being taunted and teased by the pre-teens she is monitoring on a school bus from Greece Athena Middle School, near Rochester.
The 10-minute video, captured by one of the students with a cellphone, shows the kids mercilessly making fun of her about her weight and perspiration. They taunt, "Oh my God, your glasses are foggy from your freakin' sweat, you fat a**" and poke her while jeering, "Look at all this flab here."
Klein ignores most of the taunts, but tells them at one point, "Unless you have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." She's told by students aboard the bus to "shut the f*** up."
Eventually, Klein turns her head to the window and begins to cry.
Klein has launched an anti-bullying foundation using $100,000 of the money collected on her behalf. She said she will use the rest of her money to retire and take care of her family.
With files from CTV Toronto’s Zuraidah Alman