In the digital information age, it’s not uncommon to hear stories about mean kids bullying other kids at school. However, it’s pretty strange to hear a story about kids harassing an elderly school bus monitor. It’s so disheartening when a child thinks it is okay to disrespect our wonderful senior citizens. Those who have lived a long and fruitful life can teach young ones a thing or two about the world – in a good way, of course.
As a grandmother to 8 grandkids, widow Karen Huff Klein was used to being exposed to mischievous little children. As any parent knows, kids can be ornery, and it’s all just part of the child development process. Yet, there’s a fine line between being ornery and harboring cruel intentions.
Karen had worked as a school bus driver for the Greece Central School District for over two decades. Soon after reaching retirement age, she decided to take it “easy” and work as a school bus monitor. It’s the bus monitor’s responsibility to keep kids safe, and also make sure they are behaving themselves while the bus is in operation.
Little did this grandmother know what she was truly up against. On the school bus, certain children incessantly taunted and harassed her, using foul language to call her mean names.
Then they took it a step further. Four male students verbally assaulted her, and said this of her family:
“They all killed themselves, because they didn’t want to be near you.”
Karen’s son had committed suicide 10 years prior, and it is certainly hoped that these pesky kids didn’t truly know this about her past.
Not surprisingly, Karen’s resolve finally broke, and the tears started flowing. Unfortunately, the youngters decided to take their bullying tactics online. They filmed the entire encounter and uploaded the footage to YouTube. This caused even further anguish to the poor grandmother.
After three separate videos of her harsh treatment went viral, a young gentleman by the name of Max Sidorov decided to do something nice for Karen. The Ukrainian immigrant from Toronto, Canada had been bullied himself as a youngster, and knew exactly what it felt like.
He setup a social crowdfunding page to help raise money for the loving grandmother. He wanted her to take a well-deserved vacation so that the obstinate middle schoolers could no longer touch her. His initial goal was a respectable $5,000, but he didn’t understand what an impact those bullying videos would have on his fundraising efforts.
Ever since footage of the incident surfaced, people all over the world have been showing their support for the bus monitor. Donations and sympathy immediately poured in from all over the world.
In under a week the campaign raised a super sweet $700,000. Wow! This definitely proves that “team love” wins against “team bully” when it comes to world dominanation. But, that’s something that we all know to be true. Sometimes it just takes a less than ideal circumstance to bring that truth back into the light.
When ABC News setup a meeting between Karen and Max, they became instant friends! Karen was grateful that so much money had been raised, but was very humble about accepting the gift. She insisted that there were more deserving people out there.
Deserving or not, Karen was going to put the money to good use, especially since one can spend more than half a million on a single vacation. Karen, who has a grandson with Down’s Syndrome, decided to donate some of the money to support research.
She also used $100,000 to start her own non-profit organization, the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation.
In a surprise move that shows just what an amazing woman Karen is, she decided not to press charges against the bullies. However, the students were suspended for a year and had to complete 50 hours of community service. She heard her tormentors had been receiving death threats, and she didn’t agree with that treatment. Bullying is not okay in any form, even if it’s to dole out a bit of justice.
Hopefully her wisdom will reach those who need it the most. Her anti-bullying foundation is dedicated to ending bullying in America, and with her endless kindness guiding it, the foundation’s reach will certainly be far and wide.
So, where exactly did Karen get to go on her much needed break? On a Disney cruise, of course! That’s where adults get to go play and have fun.
Well, she certainly looks like she had an awesome time!
Watch this video to see grandmother Karen Klein recieve her large check.
Karen won’t have to shed another tear at the hands of bullies ever again. Plus, her charity is helping to stop others from becoming the victim’s of bullies. This is the sweetest “revenge” any person could ever get. Wow, what do you think of the unbelievable outcome?