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Bullied bus monitor Karen Klein: Donations mount to $400k-plus (+video)

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Klein's oldest son killed himself 10 years ago.

Eventually, she appears to break down in tears.

The swell of support for Klein follows a recent surge in awareness of bullying that has brought the issue from the classroom to the stage and screen to the White House. Bullying expert Stephen Birchak, a professor of counseling at Albany's College of Saint Rose, said the enormous flow of money for Klein is no surprise given the shame we feel as a society over the incident.

The stickier question is: How could the students be so cruel?

Birchak noted that the kids are growing up in a world of harsh political debates and reality TV shows in which berating people is part of the entertainment. Meanwhile, taking videos of people in humiliating situations and sharing the images has become all too normal among many adolescents, "Kids are growing up saying, 'OK, this is how you treat your fellow human being and it's OK to do those things,'" he said.

(People magazine reported today that three of the students seen taunting Klein in the video have issued apologies to her.  "I am so sorry for the way I treated you," one students identified as "Josh," said in a statement issued by police Thursday to Anderson Cooper 360. "When I saw the video I was disgusted and could not believe I did that. I am sorry for being so mean and I will never treat anyone this way again." "Wesley," another student, People reported, similarly wrote: "I feel really bad about what I did. I wish I had never done those things. If that had happened to someone in my family, like my mother or grandmother, I would be really mad at the people who did that to them." )

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