Bullied Bus Monitor Karen Klein Says She Hasn't Changed Despite Thousands of Dollars in Donations

| by Emily Smith

Despite the fact that strangers raised nearly $700,000 for former bus monitor, Karen Klein, the 69-year-old widow insists her life is still pretty much the same.

“I’m just a regular old lady,” Klein said in a recent interview.

After a video of four adolescent boys who bullied her on a school bus went viral, a Canadian man named Max Sidorov decided to start an online fund to send Klein on vacation. The fund skyrocketed and Klein was able to retire  something she had previously thought was impossible.

Klein donated some of the money to the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation, which promotes kindness through books, but she mostly saved the money.

“There’s a lot I wish I could be doing, but I don’t know how to do it,” Klein said.

With more time on her hands, Klein has spent it with family members and friends. Klein said she might invest in a motor home and do some traveling, though with a brand new pacemaker, she admitted she should probably take things slowly.

While her lifestyle has not changed, her perception of other people has.

“There’s a lot of nice people out there, I have learned that,” Klein said. “And [I have learned] to ignore the negative people.”

Klein has often been criticized for her actions in the viral video; some say she neglected to assert her authority as a bus driver over school children, while others say she was seeking fame and fortune.

Amanda Klein-Romig, Klein’s daughter, defended her mother against outside critics and insisted that she had never changed.

“Everything’s the same pretty much,” Klein-Romig said. “She didn’t ask for this.”

Sources: NY Daily News, USA Today