A profanity-laced video of middle school students in upstate New York verbally abusing a bus monitor is sparking an outpouring of support as strangers worldwide rally to her side.
In the video, the students taunt Karen Klein, 68, with a stream of profanity, insults, jeers and physical ridicule.
Some boys demand to know her address, saying they want to come to her house to perform sexual acts and steal from her.
The bullying continues unabated for about 10 minutes in the video, reducing Klein to tears as a giggling student jabs her arm with a book in one instance...
Klein, a bus monitor for the Greece Central School District, said she tried her best to disregard the harassment. The students involved attend Greece Athena middle school...
She said one comment from a boy aboard the bus was especially painful. He tells her that she does not have family because "they all killed themselves because they didn't want to be near you."
Klein's oldest son took his own life 10 years ago...
The video prompted an outpouring of support and a fundraiser by an international crowd funding site that had gathered more than $100,000 by early Thursday.
This morning we were made aware of a troubling video that was posted to YouTube depicting students ridiculing a bus monitor. We were able to confirm that the woman in the video is a Greece Central School District employee. We immediately activated our district bullying and violence prevention response team to investigate and contacted the Greece Police Department to conduct their own investigation.
We have discovered other similar videos on YouTube and are working to identify all of the students involved. Links to the YouTube posts were also forwarded to members of the media, some of whom have reported inaccurate and concerning information including names and addresses of students alleged to be involved in the incidents. The bus involved in this incident was carrying middle school students – all of whom are juveniles. Although their behavior was inexcusable, we also have concern for the safety of all involved. We urge patience to allow us to investigate and determine the appropriate discipline.
Currently, our district security staff and Greece Police are interviewing all of those involved. The Greece Police Department has assigned an investigator to partner with us. The Greece Central School District is committed to providing students and staff with a safe environment that respects the dignity of all. We do not tolerate harassment of staff or students.
While we cannot comment on specific student discipline, we can say that students found to be involved will face strong disciplinary action. We will continue our ongoing bullying prevention and awareness training to ensure that incidents like this do not occur in the future. Specifically, the Greece Central School District has recently adopted the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, a systemic approach involving all community stakeholders to reduce bullying and other anti-social behaviors.
The Greece Central School District has a clear Code of Conduct and all staff and students have been fully trained. This behavior is a clear violation and will not be tolerated. The district will also ensure that reporting procedures are reviewed and response procedures are systemically in place.