Sixty-eight year old Karen Klein still fears the junior high bullies. In a suburb of Rochester, NY bus monitor and former driver, Karen Klein, has been verbally tormented by four seventh grade boys on the school bus. With videos of the harassment streaming all over the internet, the country has risen to Karen Klein’s defense to help the fight against bullies.
When asked if she would have liked to resort to violence to defend herself, she replied, "Oh yeah. I sure would have - Just wipe the snicker right off their faces, but you can't do that. I didn't."
Even the thought of reacting violently toward these four young bullies is out of Karen Klein’s nature. Klein has made it very clear that she does not believe this bullying should rise to criminal charges. Rather, she would prefer their punishment be community service or the boys not being able to ride the bus. With the tears in her eyes reflecting her saddened heart and bruised ego, Karen Klein showed her admirable character when one of the bullies’ father, Robert Helm, came to apologize for his son’s behavior. As Helm embraced Karen Klein in his arms, he stated his deepest apologies.
"There's no excuse. And we're going to get to the bottom of that, but it really broke my heart, and I shed a lot of tears thinking about that whole thing and I just want you to know that my family, all of us, are deeply saddened by this whole thing and we're going to get it right,” Helm said.
Ending the conversation with Helm, Karen Klein showed her selflessness when referring to the threats the families have been receiving. She said, “But you’ll be OK, right?”
Although Karen Klein is relieved by the parents’ response and Helm’s apology, she truly wants to hear from the bullies, themselves – eventually. As of right now, she does not want to see the four boys face-to-face. “I would rather wait a while,” she said.
The nation has risen to Karen Klein’s side. People around the country and the world have been filling Klein’s inbox with supportive emails and donating a total more than $490,000 through a webpage titled “Let’s Give Karen The Bus Monitor a Vacation.” The goal is to send Karen Klein on a well deserved vacation to relive her of the stress and sadness she has been dealing with.
Karen Klein is grateful and a little confused by the donations. "They say I'm such a great person and they love me, but they don't even really know me," she said. Karen Klein is an example of bullying, and our nation is adamantly supporting her and fighting against that war.