Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Seacrest Rally Behind Bullied Bus Monitor (Video)
Bullied bus monitor Karen Klein has already traded a bus seat for a spot on some of the nation’s top news programs. Now that more than $420,000 has been raised for the grandmother of eight, she may be able to take a permanent vacation.
Klein, who works for a the Greece Central School District in upstate New York, has enjoyed support from thousands around the world, including several stars, after video of her being verbally abused on a bus by middle school students went viral.
Ellen DeGeneres took note of the story, tweeting: “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.”
The 10-minute video, uploaded online Wednesday, showed children calling the hearing-impaired woman horrible names, accusing her of being a child rapist, and saying she had no family because they all killed themselves. Klein told local media that last comment hurt the most, because her son did take his own life several years ago.
Klein spent Thursday making the television rounds, with appearances NBC’s Today and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.
Piers Morgan, among the members of the media expressing support for Klein, tweeted: “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.”
During an interview on Today, co-host Matt Lauer called the video “one of the most upsetting and depressing things” he had seen in a long time. “I was amazed at your self-restraint,” Lauer told her.
Investigators are looking into disciplinary measures for four boys involved, which could include a year’s suspension from school, CNN reported.
During an appearance on CNN, Anderson Cooper said he was “stunned” by the video. Klein has said she won’t press criminal charges, but told Cooper she does have thoughts on appropriate punishment, such as the boys being banned from riding the bus and participating in sports for a year.
“Somebody mentioned community service, and I thought that was a pretty good idea,” Klein said.
Watch the video below.