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Karen Huff Klein: A Victim of Student Bullying on School Bus | The Best and the Worst of Humanity

Karen’s Facebook Photo

This video tears me apart to the point it makes me nearly ill to my stomach and my heart truly aches. The atrocious things the students say and do to this woman are completely and entirely vile and inexcusable. Each and every one of these monsters need to be dealt with and given a harsh enough punishment so that they are able to actually feel the pain and torture that they put this poor woman through.

A widower of 17 years, the 68-year-old woman’s name is Karen Huff Klein, and she is a bus monitor at the Greece Central School District in Rochester, NY. While she sits there, several students attack verbally to the point where Karen cries in despair. The bullying includes, but not limited to, physical threats, threats to ransack her place of residence, and cruel comments about her weight and dead mother.

Among the taunts: “Dumb-ass, fat-ass.” “Maybe she is an elephant.” “She’s gonna pick out which kid she’s gonna rape next.” “Karen wants herpes.” “F**king hearing aid.” “I’ll egg your house.” “What’s your address so I can p*ss all over your door.” “I’ll f**king take a cr*p in your mouth.” “You touched her arm flap. It’s all stinky and smelly.” “She probably eats deodorant because she can’t afford real food.” “What size bra are you? Triple sag?”

Bus monitor – Karen Huff Klein – driven to despair by school bullies on school bus


The other two videos are at the end of this posting.


The Greece Central School District

The Greece Central School District was made aware of this troubling video that was posted to YouTube. They immediately activated our district bullying and violence prevention response team to investigate and contacted the Greece Police Department to conduct their own investigation. Currently, the district security staff and Greece Police are interviewing all of those involved. The Greece Police Department has assigned an investigator to partner with the school district. The Greece Central School District is committed to providing students and staff with a safe environment that respects the dignity of all. They do not tolerate harassment of staff or students.

Police said Klein doesn’t want the seventh graders to be prosecuted, as she’s satisfied with the swift community response to the incident. Greece police Capt. Steve Chatterton said the children’s verbal taunts and slurs, which have gone viral in clips posted to YouTube, did not constitute a crime, reports the Associated Press.

However, according to MSNBC, Karen does want the children punished. Klein told Matt Lauer on TODAY Show, Thursday, “I want the boys punished, but I don’t know how. It made me feel really terrible, but I will get over it. I’ve gotten over everything else.”

Karen Klein: Bus Monitor Bullied By Students On School Bus Speaks Out On ‘Today Show’ June 21


Lets Give Karen – The bus monitor – H Klein A Vacation!

A campaign has been started called “Love for Karen Klein” to help raise money to give her a vacation. As a bus monitor she earns $15,506 per school year to sit among the hateful students who hopefully will never reproduce. And remember, she’s been a widower for 17 years now. “Rolling in the dough,” I am sure is not a proper description for Karen’s finances. At the time of publishing this posting, the amount donated is $443,227. More than 18,000 donors from across the country have already donated to pay for Karen to take the vacation of a lifetime, or maybe even retire early. People have given as little as $1 and as much as $1,000. The initial goal reached in a few short hours was $5,000.

When it comes to donations such as this, I cannot confirm the validity of the person and organization raising the funds. They may only give Karen 1% of the total amount, which closes on July 20th, 2012, and keep the rest. That is legal. I did do some poking around on the internet and see that IndieGogo is NOT BBB Accredited. Other than that, I could not find much.


Reddit | Call to Arms!

As is normal for the Reddit community, a Reddit member posted a link to the video along with the title “Call to Arms. Please read.” Reddit user razorsheldon posted the following:

Now, as awful as this was, there was a silver lining in not only the universal condemnation of the actions of these kids, but also in a call for support for this poor woman. Her name is Karen Klein, and if you are so compelled, please feel free to reach out to offer support. She has been a widow for 17 years, has lived in the same town she grew up in and is about to have her 50th high school reunion in the same school district, and deserves so much better than the actions shown by those in this video. Let’s show her that there are still good people out there…


CNN’s Anderson Cooper’s Interview with Karen

Every news media has jumped all over this story, and good for Karen! I hope each and every one of those brats feel not only guilty, but horribly ashamed and embarrassed as they watch the country cry out “foul” to the kids and reach their arms out to Karen in support. Imagine what it would be like to have the whole country hate something you just did. Actually it is more like the world as there have been donations coming in from countries outside of the US. It would be completely devastating and so humiliating, I’m not sure I could ever look myself in the mirror again. I have been trying to think of a just punishment for these kids because I do not think banning them from the bus or sports – as Karen suggests – is enough. They need to feel the pain they inflicted on Karen.

The entire country and world against you seems to fit the bill.

Next video is the interview by Anderson Cooper. Additionally, towards the end, Anderson announces that Southwest Airlines has reached out to CNN as they were extraordinarily touched by Karen’s story. Southwest wanted CNN to let Karen know that they are going to send her and nine people to Disneyland in California for three-nights. Airfare, hotel, car everything paid for.

And nearly a half million in donations so far.

Video: Tonight on AC360: Bullied bus monitor speaks out


Celebrities Respond

Here are some comments from some well-known celebrities.

Ellen DeGeneres:
It breaks my heart. I’m so moved by the donations. Bullying doesn’t end when you grow up. It ends when we stop bullying say.ly/bGm3ANC

Piers Morgan:
I think every one of those kids who abused bus monitor Karen Klein should be expelled. Let them pay the ultimate price for their behaviour.

Ryan Seacrest:
no one should have to endure something like this. This upsets me bit.ly/PCIoEf


The Public Responds

Here are some responses from the general public.

My Response to Bullied Bus Monitor – Karen Huff Klein

Comments posted on the first YouTube video in this post – I have hopefully weeded out the troll comments….

Just give me 5 minutes in an empty room with each of these bastards and I’ll teach them the? word: RESPECT.
videotitan1

those kids who did this to this lady. does it make you feel happy? do you? feel skinnier now? you immature little shits! -.- you ungrateful fucks have some damn respect !! this video made the news in Australia are you proud now? your known internationally for picking on an old woman !! grow the fuck up
Aiesha Franklin

I only had to watch the first 15 secs of this video and whish i could slap shit out of those lil ungratefull rotten fuckin kids.?
drearaujoa6

I blame jerry springer, mtv chit, snookie, jersey shore chit, simon cowell, rappers, white middle class entitlement, parents? infedility…!!!!
alternativegrunge91

I could barely bring myself to watch the whole thing. I stopped about halfway through and cried. Those kids are made of pure evil, it would’ve taken every drop of goodness in my soul to not beat the living shit out of? them and show them their place in society.
Evanbryner

Wow. I didn’t even get past watching the first 3 minutes before I’d seen enough. I literally felt tears forming in my eyes. I’m a 15 year old boy, and I’m seriously sadden to see what our generation has become. No job could possibly pay her enough to deal with this crap. I honestly feel like I could hug her for hours. I sincerely apologize for how? low this generation of kids has gone.
lobos903

Anyone find out these kid’s phone numbers & facebooks yet?? Fucking sick.
DylanOnDeck



What would you do?

So, my fellow internet friends…. What would you do to your child if you found out they were one of these bullies?

I can think of a thousand things I would do if my child was one of the taunters – then at the same time, I can think of nothing that would have a permanent lesson implanted in their memories. Since this is now worldwide, I simply hope that knowing that millions of people throughout our planet think that you are nothing more than some brown smelly matter scraped off from the bottom of a shoe….


The other two videos from the bus
Bus Monitor Harrasement
Bus Monitor Harrasement 2

References and Related Articles:

GREECE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT: District Statement Regarding YouTube Video
IndieGogo: Lets Give Karen -The bus monitor- H Klein A Vacation! (campaign/donation site)
CNN: Tonight on AC360: Bullied bus monitor speaks out
Yahoo: Boys’ bullying of woman on bus sparks amazing compassion campaign
Reddit: Call to Arms. Please read. By razorsheldon
Reddit: Kids call bus monitor “fat” until she cries and they still don’t stop. By jelloleaf
Huffington Post: Karen Huff Klein Bullying Video: Upsetting Footage Causes Community Outrage
Facebook: Kindness for Karen (A FB page made in her honor and support)
MSNBC Today: School bus monitor doesn’t want ‘really nasty’ kids charged
Gawker: New York Schoolkids Mercilessly Taunt Elderly Bus Monitor [UPDATE]
Tumbler: Karen Huff Klein (tag, various responses and comments from Tumblr users)
Moms Today MSNBC: Dad punishes son with “Homeless” sign

29 replies »

  1. What I understood was that what finally provoked her tears, after all this, was her response to their taunting and cruel words about her son, who committed suicide, some time ago. I am a single dad to two kids, a daughter 24 and a son now 30. They were taught respect in the household and old fashioned values, like manners, and integrity. I think this reflects more on the parents who own these little fucks, and their attitudes about children and child rearing, than it does about them. Stupid parents raise stupid kids that say and do stupid things. It’s really no more complicated than that.
    PKC

    • More and more kids are becoming just plain ol’ mean these days. It’s turning into a “me” generation. Nothing but selfish, hateful behavior. If I did something like this, I’d bury my head in the sane. And my father would tan my hide

    • Yes it is disgusting. It literally turns my stomach. I was always one of the kids that was picked on when I was young – because I was the first one in my class to get eyeglasses. It truly hurts and I can still feel the pain from over 35 years aog.

      • I also got picked on in both Jr high and high school, because I had a precocious vocabulary for my age, and because I was a nonconformist who refused to always act the way that my peers expected me to, even when I caught a lot of shit for it.

        But I was also the youngest of three bigger and stronger brothers, who beat me up regularly (not badly) and this taught me how to fight. So there were more than a few times when my bullies walked straight into a flurry of hard and accurate punches that sent them straight to the nurse’s office, and they seldom messed with me a second time.

        Unless they ganged up on me three and four to one, and even then, somebody else besides me always ended up bleeding.

        I guess that what really set me off with this post, is that my daughter was a victim of bullying back when she was in school, and she really suffered from it. I know that it left her with a lot of emotional scars, that while now faded, she still carries them to this day at 31 years old.

  2. I saw this video yesterday, and I was also outraged by watching this poor elderly woman’s torment cruelly perpetrated upon her by some 7th grade psychopaths. And yes, they are psychopaths… because they have a pathological inability to feel the pain of another human being, and they are incapable of feeling sympathy for other people.

    Feeling empathy, or the ability to envision what it is like to experience the physical and emotional pain of another human being, is so far beyond their emotional reach, that it might as well be on the dark side of the moon.

    So why do we have to watch a video of a 68 year old woman being emotionally brutalized by a bunch of 7th grade psychopaths?

    Why do we have to read true life horror stories about teenagers who are so viciously tormented by their classmates, that they choose to hang themselves in their bedroom closets, rather than face one more day of relentless and never ending torture in school?

    Why? Because we have become a society that in large part, teaches, encourages and rewards psychopathic behavior. One of our most popular and financially successful computer games is Grand Theft Auto, which glorifies criminal behavior, misogynistic violence and degradation of women, while pushing the thrill addiction of committing vicarious violence against humanity in general. Grand Theft Auto is played for hours on end by millions of our teens and youth.

    We take people like Simon Cowell of “American Idol” fame, a man who is a professional sadist specializing in public character assassination, and we turn him into a rich and famous celebrity. We take the gansta rappers with their endlessly repetitive messages of more misogyny and violence against women, more glorification of criminal behavior, love of gunfire, mayhem and murder, and we make them rich superstars who are idolized and hero worshiped by our children.

    We take investment bankers, corporate CEOs and Wall Street hedge fund managers, who’s biggest contribution to our society is the rape and near destruction of our global economy, in their endless pursuit of mad ambition and boundless greed, and we make them the wealthiest men and women in the world.

    And then we wonder why we have raised a brood of increasingly psychopathic children, who imitate and emulate all the heartless cruelty, violence, uncaring selfishness and ruthless narcissism that our society has taught them… Our civilization has become a ship of fools, and we are sinking.

      • I don’t want to be so negative and sound like a prophet of doom, but unless things really change, and on a large scale, I think the human race will have the same fate as the Titanic, and be sunk into oblivion by our own short sighted vision and preoccupation with hubris.

        We are turning our culture into another giant ship as a monument to our own collectively overblown ego, while blind to the consequences and fatal dangers, and once again, we are also just too damn selfish to build enough lifeboats to save everyone when the worst happens.

  3. Reblogged this on Word Play and commented:
    My readers who are familiar with my posts know that my favorite subject is humor. But there are times when I just can’t laugh off what I see going on in our world today, and this post is an example of why. It’s from my friend Michelle of Motley News, a blogger for whom I have a very high level of respect and admiration. She is passionate and tireless in her efforts as a blogger to help preserve our collective social conscience, and expose the dangers of the collective apathy that could destroy us. Thank you for all that you do, Michelle.

  4. These children need to be taught compassion, not punished. Punishment will teach them to punish. They could be taught lovingkindness meditations, they could be required to take a 12 week class in compassion, they need to understand that the human capacity for hatred is astounding. We must learn a new way to be compassionate for all humans.

    • As much as it cuts against the grain of my anger towards them, I still believe that you are right when you say that these children need to be taught compassion, because it is so obvious that they have been taught to be cruel and heartless instead.

      I can never disagree with the value of teaching compassion, but… while maybe punishment isn’t the right answer, maybe some sort of aversive therapy should also be included – like many long and excruciatingly boring hours of community service, to be served during summer vacation. This might make a more lasting impression that would make these kids less likely to engage in such hateful behavior again, and also serve as a deterrent for their like minded friends to not do the same.

      • Maybe. But a solid class that teaches compassionate practices, metta meditation, reading out loud from compassion books, forgiveness, forgiving one’s self — overall I think this would be powerful beyond words. And at first attending such a class would be punishment indeed. The hope would be that by the end they LOVED the class and the world.

    • You have a very valid point. I’ve always been a proponent for positive reinforcement. But my initial reaction was in wanting these children to feel the same way they made Karen feel. Honestly, it’s hard to have a good answer for this one.

    • Maybe it does often start a home, but is how kids are raised today by their parents, the main reason for the hateful behavior so often seen? I’m not so sure that’s true… I’ve read about a recent case in which bullying at school resulted in the suicide of a classmate, and some of the worst of the perpetrators came from what appeared to be good homes, with good parents.

      There have always been bad homes with bad parents during the over 50 years I’ve been alive, but it’s only within the last 20 years or so, that there has been this epidemic of school shootings, and incredibly ruthless behavior by children and teens towards each other, that’s been severe enough to result in suicides.

      Sure there was lots of bullying going on back when I was in school – but kids were NOT killing themselves because of it, and they weren’t gunning down their classmates in the cafeteria.

      Something has seriously changed for the worse, in the last two decades, and this is why I think that the cause goes far beyond bad parenting and has more to do with the social cancer that I described in my original comment on this post.

      • There is so much more peer pressure these days, too. All kids must “keep up with the Joneses” else face being ridiculed by other classmates. iPhone, iPod, clothes, etc etc etc. So when one student starts this awful act, then I think at least some of them join in out of fear of being different thus becoming the target with the same verbal abuse as Karen received.

        • I agree that what you’ve described is part of the dynamic, and also that some kids do join in so that they won’t also become a target. But I don’t think that peer pressure is something new, even if it may be worse today, than in the past. There’s always been lots of peer pressure, but the severity of what happens to victims is much worse today than in the past.

          Michelle, let me ask you a question. We’re close to the same age, and when I was in school, it was the boys and the guys who were the worst bullies. The girls could also be mean, but my perception was that the girls weren’t nearly as bad as the guys. Was that also your perception?

          Because from what I’ve read, today it seems like the girls are every bit as bad as the guys with bullying – even right up to inflicting serious violent injury on other girls that they decide to gang up on and ostracize.

          Any thoughts on why?

        • Yeah, when I was in school the primary difference was that boys were more likely to inflict some type of physically bullying – even if not physical to one’s body, but like toilet papering someone’s locker. The girls were more catty and gossipy. I was one of those that was picked on… I was the first one to get glasses, and that was second grade. Skinny, tom boy. Bossy. The glasses set my course. Like most kids, wanted to be “popular” but wasn’t. So the “popular” kids were always making fun of me behind my back. Luckily, though, I figured out earlier than most people, while I was a junior in high school, that the “popular” girls were a bunch of losers who had to put down others in order to make themselves feel better. Then I began to feel sorry for them.

          But there was nothing ever like what this video shows. Nothing. Kids have become so mean.

  5. I didn’t watch it, but can imagine, I think. I think maybe it has to do with a lot of things in our society – the lack of an imposed and accepted code, perhaps? There are always mean, cruel kids/people, but when they’re sharply rebuked/thumped by any nearby responsible adult, they possibly learn to pull their heads in a little more. Where compassion fails, manners and self preservation need to kick in. Maybe. I’m sure my kids would never do such a thing, if they did, I’d be furious and ashamed.

  6. My husband and I just watched this for the first time just now and bawled! It’s a sad state of respect of today’s youth for adults and I know it happens – my own kids have gotten off the bus bawling from being cussed at and threatened. This woman deserves the early retirement. It’s just sickening. I can only hope they truly regret their actions and they do need punishment and sent to a boot camp of some kind. Horrible! Horrible! Horrible!

    • With the amount of donations that have come in, she can retire easily – and live several times better than what she has been in the meager pay she’s been receiving.

      As far as the monsters go, I hope that Karen is getting some self satisfaction simply because these kids all thought they were cool. And now, each one of them realizes that pretty much the entire country either hates them or feels sorry for them. AND… they’re “cool” actions that were done with the intent to hurt (which they did) had an end result of Karen retiring with probably over a million dollars by the time donations are closed.

      I hope she laughs out loud and in front of these kids all the way to the bank.

  7. I am a parent/grandparent who resides in New York City and, this is the most disrespectful thing I have ever encountered. I like the comment that “it starts at home”, but it continues in the school system, because some of the people who run our schools are also bullies. So, what are these children learning? I think they should be punished very severely, so that they, nor any other children would perform such cruelty to anyone again.

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