Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 23, 2013

Bullied bus monitor teaches kindness year later

ROCHESTER —

No new carpet or furniture for the home she's lived in for 46 years. No fancy car in the driveway.

After being gifted a life-changing sum following a school bus bullying episode seen around the world a year ago, former bus monitor Karen Klein says she really hasn't changed all that much.

Sure, the "Today" show mug she drinks coffee from reminds her of the widespread media attention her story brought, and the occasional stranger wants to snap her picture.

She's also retired, something the 69-year-old widow couldn't afford before.

But Klein, who drove a school bus for 20 years before spending three years as a monitor, remains as unassuming as she was before learning firsthand how the kindness of strangers can trump the cruelty of four adolescent boys.

"It's really amazing," Klein said at her suburban Rochester home, still perplexed at the outpouring unleashed by a 10-minute cellphone video of her being ridiculed, sworn at and threatened by a group of seventh-graders last June. They poke at her hearing aid and call her names as she tries to ignore them.

"Unless you have something nice to say, don't say anything at all," Klein says calmly a few minutes in.

One boy taunts: "You don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they don't want to be near you." Klein's oldest son committed suicide more than a decade ago.

The video, recorded by a fellow student, was posted online and viewed more than 1.4 million times on YouTube.

When 25-year-old Canadian Max Sidorov was moved to take up an online collection to send her on vacation, more than 32,000 people from 84 countries responded — pledging $703,873 in donations.

"It's just the way it hits them, I guess. I don't know. I don't know," Klein said, still unsure of why it all happened.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results