Karen Klein has caused a storm in the media world. Klein, 68, a New York school bus monitor, was ruthlessly bullied by a group of students bringing her to tears. With a media frenzy following this story, an online campaign was initiated by Indiegogo.com, a site that raises donations for different causes, to send the harassed bus monitor on a vacation. In a never-happened-before scenario, the campaign raised a whopping $540,000 by mid Friday i.e. a few days after the campaign started. The target was set at $5,000. The campaign is still open for another 28 days, so it is still to be seen what the total amount surmounts to. The campaign, referred to as “Let’s Give Karen – The bus monitor – H Klein a Vacation”, has garnered unprecedented media attention and has been very successful.
When asked for her opinion on this, Klein said, “It’s a nice gesture, but I don’t know if it’s real or not. It sounds too good to be true,” according to a report by MSNBC. Klein earns $15,000 a year as a bus monitor.
The website’s CEO, commenting on the successful campaign, said, “Never have we seen a campaign raise this much money this quickly in less than 36 hours.”
After the video showing Klein being ruthlessly bullied by four middle school boys went viral on social media, it had everyone shocked. The fund was set up shortly after that.
Amongst the many people who have contributed to the fund is Ashley Austell, who said that she felt this was the bare minimum she could do. “I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘What if that were my grandma?’” Austell, 24, told msnbc.com in an email after she saw the video. “When she cried, I started bawling because it was so heartbreaking. You felt for this woman. She could be any of our grandmothers.” Austell, who lives in Arlington, V.A., donated $100. She said she “wanted to be part of a whole world showing Karen Klein that people care about her.”
Those responsible for this shameless act have issued apologies to Klein via statements to police in Greece, N.Y. The father of one of the students has also issued an apology condemning his son’s shameless act. One of the students was quoted as saying, “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 will never treat anyone this way again.” Another student, Wesley, said he felt “really bad” about the incident.
The father of the student who issued an apology in a statement to the police said, “I would like it if he could do some work for you or help you in some way. I am embarrassed, angry and sad about the awful way he treated you."
School official investigating the incident said that they were looking deeply into the matter and promised strict disciplinary action.