A group of seventh grade students were caught on film verbally bullying a then-68-year-old bus monitor.
Karen Klein, who lives in New York state, was the target of the abuse, with the male students calling her “fat a**” and saying that Klein’s family killed themselves because they did not want to be near her, reported the Daily Mail.
The video was full of profanities and insults. Klein ended up breaking down in tears.
“If I stabbed you in the stomach, my knife would f***** go through like butter, because it’s all f***** lard,” one student said, according to the Daily Mail.
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The four middle school students involved were suspended from school for a year and banned from bus travel.
The video was uploaded to the internet and attracted the attention of Toronto-based nutritionist Max Sidorov, who said he was bullied as a child. Sidorov established a fundraising campaign to help pay for a vacation for Klein.
His goal of raising $5,000 was surpassed by a long way. In all, 30,000 contributors from 84 countries donated over $700,000 to Klein.
The grandmother retired from her job and used $100,000 of the money to set up an anti-bullying campaign group.
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“When you’re an adult and you get bullied, that’s one thing. I can handle it, but children can't. They just... it sticks with them forever, and I hope it stops,” Klein said at a ceremony where she received the money from Sidorov.
But she did not change her lifestyle and decided to continue living in her home of more than four decades.
“There are other people who it would probably change dramatically. But for her, no, everything's the same pretty much. It's not like she's jaunting every weekend to a different place,” Amanda, Karen’s daughter, said.
The four boys who bullied Klein were also handed punishments of 50 hours community service.
Last year, it was reported that one of the students who bullied Klein was part of a group of three boys who allegedly forced a student with special needs to drink urine from a toilet.
“I don't believe this is happening again,” Klein said to WHEC upon hearing the news, CTV reports.
Due to privacy requirements, the school was not able to confirm whether the same student was involved in the incident.