Bullied bus monitor thankful for support, pleads for threats to stop
[Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET]
All bullied bus monitor Karen Klein wanted was an apology. Now she’s getting that … and then some.
“I feel really bad about what I did,” one said in a statement to CNN. “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.”
Another said, “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.”
The video of the seventh-graders cursing, taunting and physically threatening a crying Klein has become a rallying point against bullying. It has also prompted an overwhelming outpouring of support for the longtime school bus worker.
An online campaign to fund a vacation for Klein had grown to more than $500,000 by Friday afternoon, far surpassing the initial $5,000 goal. Max Sidorov, the Toronto man who started the fund two days ago, said he did so partly because he was bullied himself as a child.
“Maybe we can send her on a great, early retirement,” Sidorov told The Associated Press.
Then Anderson Cooper surprised the grandmother of eight on CNN Thursday night with an all-expenses paid trip for nine people to Disneyland from Southwest Airlines. The Walt Disney Co. made the same offer for Disney World.
“I want to thank everybody for so much kindness,” Klein told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
But not all of the reaction has been positive. School officials in Greece, N.Y., and the boys who bullied Klein have received a barrage of threatening messages. Police stepped up patrols near the teens’ homes.
“We have a cellphone of one of the boys, and he’s received more than 1,000 missed calls and more than 1,000 text messages threatening him,” Capt. Steve Chatteron said. “Threats to overcome threats do no good.”
Klein, who asked police not to charge the boys, issued a plea for the madness to end.
“I feel kinda bad for them and their families because of what’s going on,” she said. “They’re being harassed terribly, and I don’t like that. I don’t want any harm to come to them.”
Humbling words given the week she’s had.
On That Note:
I don’t know what this world is coming to when this type of behavior is so rampant among our younger generation, but I do know what would have happened to the kids of my generation if we had done something like this!! We would have been lucky if we could sit down for a week or two.
Having been abused for many years, I am against violence. Having said that, I must add that I am NOT against parents spanking their children. Since the government has gotten involved with how we discipline our children, this type of behavior has grown in leaps and bounds.
I do not agree with BEATING our children with belts or switches off trees, that is too extreme in my opinion. I do agree with my mother’s philosophy however; she kept broken yardsticks, paddle-ball paddles that the ball had come off of or paint stirrer on top of the refrigerator. If you were smart enough, like me, you would start running as soon as her hand was going toward them rather than after she started swinging!
When I got older, she explained to me her thinking on this: using those type of things for paddles made sense because, no matter how angry you were, they would break in half before you really could hurt the child too much.
I always laugh when I think of it because it reminds me of the old Bill Cosby bit where he’s talking about his mother wielding the yardstick like a “samurai warrior”. My brothers used to complain that I never got spanked (which wasn’t exactly true), but I wonder why? lol!
As parents, we need to make sure that our children learn to respect other human beings, especially those who are different, handicapped, elderly, etc.!! This behavior, as with any other, begins at home. It’s either taught or tolerated – either way, that’s unacceptable in “civilized” society!
Love and blessings to all,