06/22/2012: More than $560,362 has been donated to Karen Klein
The video is heartbreaking: a pack of junior high boys making fun of a 68-year-old school bus monitor in upstate New York. She's brought to tears as the students pepper her with profane put-downs about her weight, age, livelihood and more.
"You're not sweating?" one kid asks her. "Why's there water down your face?"
"I'm crying," she responds.
"She probably misses her box of Twinkies," taunts another boy.
Another said "I dont want you to touch my book you fat ass, old ass". "Shut the f#ck up fat ass".
"Where do you live Karen? So I can fucking piss at your door and take a crack on your lawn". "Why did you touch her? You are probably infected now". "You're gonna die of diabetes cos you're damn fat, you old ass". What's your bra size? Triple sag" You're a troll". "I am gonna f^#king stab". "You probably dont have a family cos they all killed themselves cos they didnt want to be with you".
They said all these nasty things and more to this woman for about 20 mins yet she NEVER got mad..OMG. I know someone who would have gone to jail if those kids had said the same things to them, lol.
The surprising thing was that she NEVER got mad, she kept answering the kids' questions like they gave a s**t. Plus she didn't report the incident, the school found out about this incident when it went viral and are currently investigating.
These kids need to be suspended or punished in some way.
Klein, a grandmother who drove a school bus for 20 years and has been a monitor for three, said she's "kind of numb" from the generosity.
School officials and police in Greece, N.Y., are now investigating.
"Sometimes you expect kids to be like they acted, but not that bad. They weren't that bad all year," Klein told WYSR-TV. "That one day, I don't know what possessed them."
But for all the bad brought on by the juveniles, comes an even better story of compassion and goodwill.
The viral video, which one of the boys reportedly posted on Facebook, has caught the attention of scores of people who've pledged more than $200,000 (as of Thursday afternoon and growing) to send Karen Klein on a vacation.
The astonishing outpouring of support was started by Max Sidorov, a 25-year-old Toronto nutritionist who saw the video and on Wednesday launched a campaign on the crowd-source fundraising website Indiegogo.
"She doesn't earn nearly enough ($15,506) to deal with some of the trash she is surrounded by," Sidorov wrote on the site. "Let's give her something she will never forget, a vacation of a lifetime!"
His initial goal of $5,000 was shattered within hours. Strangers from around the world have shared the story on social networks and pledged amounts of $5 to hundreds.
The father of one of the boys has apologized. He said he's disappointed in his son's participation and is now in fear of his family's lives. He said his address and phone number is out in the public and they have been receiving death threats from the public.
"My heart broke," he told ABC News. "I couldn't believe my son could treat another human being like that."