In the video that went viral earlier this week Karen Klein, the elderly school bus monitor n Greece, New York, endures an awful, profanity-laced comment after another from a group of male and female students during a bus ride.
Mers Klein is bombarded with insults, profane language, threats and cruel taunts while she is just trying to do her job.
The students repeatedly call the 68-year-old mother of four and grandmother of eight ugly, a troll, smelly and worse, according to CNN.
And the most painful part of the video is the one heard last when one of the students says “you don’t have a family because they all killed themselves because they didn’t want to be near you.” Klein’s oldest son committed suicide 10 years ago.
After the video was uploaded to YouTube by a concerned third party who found it on Facebook, Karen Klein has received a lot of support from all over the U.S.
Some expressed not only anger, but also sadness for the seemingly defenseless older woman who, they felt, bravely suffered the slings and arrows flung at her for no good reason at all.
By Wednesday, police were interviewing Klein and her alleged verbal abusers.
Karen, is hearing-impaired and did not hear all of the taunts when they first happened on Monday before seeing everything in the video Wednesday morning at the district’s bus garage, later said that there is only one thing that would really make her happy – an apology from the four students that turned an ordinary afternoon bus route into a nightmare.
And she got it. Anderson Cooper read the official statements on CNN’s “Anderson 360.”
“I feel really bad about what I did,” Wesley, one of the boys in the video, said in a statement issued to the show by police. “I wish I had never done those things. If that had happened to someone in my family, like my mother or grandmother, I would be really mad at the people who did that to them.”
“I am so sorry for the way I treated you. When I saw the video I was disgusted and could not believe I did that. I am sorry for being so mean and I will never treat anyone this way again,” said Josh, another bully.
The comments also came from Wesley’s mom and Luis’ father.
Wesley’s mom said: “I cannot even tell you how badly I feel. I am deeply sorry for what my son did. I wish there was some way to make it up to you. I would like it if he could do some work for you or help you in some way. I’m sure that you don’t want him anywhere near you or your property and I don’t blame you. I am embarrassed, angry and sad about the awful way he treated you. I am truly sorry.”
“We apologize, from the bottom of our hearts on what happened. We wish this will never happen again, to nobody and from nobody. Like Luis said, if your friend says to bully somebody, please don’t do it….A couple of people have already died because of this. We apologize to Ms. Klein. We’re deeply sorry,” said Luis’ father.
According to The Huff Post, when asked if she thought the boys were bad kids, Klein responded in a surprising way.
“Not really, not deep down,” she told Anderson Cooper.
Among people moved by Klein’s plight was Max Sidorov. He lives in Toronto and had never met her but told CNN that the YouTube video “struck a chord with me,” a feeling that — as someone who’d been bullied himself — he couldn’t let go of without taking action.
“I felt very sad for Karen, and I felt I had to do something to support her in this time,” Sidorov said.
His first thought was to raise money through the site indiegogo.com, hopefully enough “to get her away from the environment and get her on vacation somewhere.” So he set up the site, hoping to amass $5,000 over the next month.
And by early Friday, that fund had more than $450,000. People gave not only their money, but their heartfelt support for Klein in remarks posted on the website.
Southwest Airlines offered Klein and nine other people an all-expense paid trip to southern California to go to Disneyland. She described it as “awesome” but seemingly too good to be true.
“I still can’t believe it,” she said Thursday night. “I don’t feel like I’ve done anything.”