Karen Klein, a 68-year-old grandmother of eight, was publicly humiliated by a group of sadistic middle schoolers while monitoring their bus ride home, but now she's getting the last laugh.
After videos of the verbal abuse she endured for over 10 minutes went viral, sympathetic internet users have donated over $190,000 to her retirement fund! That figure, by the way, grew by almost 50 grand in just an hour this morning and is most likely continuing to grow as we speak.
New York's Greece Central School District has also taken action by contacting the police to investigate the harassment and is planning severe disciplinary measures for the students involved.
What's the most amazing part of this sad story, however, is not merely the reaction from the public, but the reaction from the victim herself.
Klein spoke with Matt Lauer on The Today Show (above) and said that, despite how "terrible" the hurtful words made her feel, she does NOT want any legal action taken against her tormentors. Instead, she hopes that the incident will serve as a reminder for parents to teach their children to respect their elders.
Perhaps offering proof that bullying will not go away unless parents, school officials and society in general stop pretending it isn't a serious issue, Klein told reporters:
"I was trying to just ignore them, hoping they would go away and it doesn't work. Trust me. It doesn't go away."
Although she admitted, "I will get over it, just like I've gotten over everything else," what about the countless kids who don't get over bullying?
In the last few years, teenage suicide has been on the rise and is, without a doubt, a direct result of bullying. Will THIS be the final straw to make us all step in and put an end to the tragic trend or do we need one hundred more sad stories on the news to remind us of the terror that children are facing on a daily basis?
Tags: bullied, bus monitor, fundraiser, grandmother, greece, karen klein, matt lauer, middle school, nbc, new york, sad, school district, today show