Bullied bus monitor Karen Klein, who was nastily bullied by middle schoolers earlier this week, has received more that $443,000 in donations from around the world. Three of the students have issued written apologies as of Thursday night.
A video of four seventh-grade boys mercilessly taunting a 68-year-old bus monitor in New York state that went viral has turned the victim into an international fundraising juggernaut and opened her tormentors to an onslaught of threats and abuse.
From around the world, small donations for Karen Klein poured into the crowd-funding site indiegogo.com, at one point crashing the site and pulling in a staggering $443,057 (€349,689) by early Friday.
At the same time, police in the Rochester suburb of Greece, N.Y., were stepping up patrols around the houses of the middle-schoolers accused of taunting her. Police didn't name the boys but their purported identities leaked out on the Web.
Greece Police Capt. Steve Chatterton was compelled to warn against vigilante justice. One boy received more than a thousand death threats and commenters online were clear — and sometimes venomous — in their desire that the boys be severely punished.
"A threat for a threat does not make the situation better," Chatterton said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
The verbal abuse was captured in a 10-minute cellphone video recorded Monday by a student of Athena Middle School and later posted to YouTube. The video shows Klein trying her best to ignore the stream of profanity, insults and outright threats. One student taunted: "You don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they don't want to be near you."