The elderly upstate New York school bus monitor who was threatened by middle school students received apologies from the students and more than $400,000 in donations after a video of the incident went viral this week.
Karen Klein, 68, can be seen crying in the 10-minute clip while trying to ignore the Greece School District students’ insults and profanity. The clip surfaced on YouTube Monday.
“You don’t have a family because they all killed themselves because they don’t want to be near you,” one of the boys says in the video. Klein’s oldest son committed suicide 10 years ago.
The video had 3.7 million views as of Friday morning.
People magazine reported the students’ apologies to Klein on Thursday.
“I am so sorry for the way I treated you,” one of the students, identified only as Josh, reportedly said in a statement. “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.”
Another student, identified as Wesley, also reportedly issued an apology. “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.”
According to CBS News, the students and their families have received death threats. Police are beefing up patrols in their neighborhoods as a result.
A fundraiser on indiegogo.com started with the goal of collecting $5,000 to send Klein on a dream vacation. As of Friday, Klein has reportedly received $443,057 from supporters.
“I’ve got these nice letters, emails, Facebook messages,” Klein told Business Week. “It’s like, wow, there’s a whole world out there that I didn’t know. It’s really awesome.”
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