June 21st, 2012
04:45 PM ET

Middle schoolers bully bus monitor with profanity, jeers

Anderson Cooper interviews bus monitor Karen Klein about the verbal abuse she endured on tonight's AC360, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET

By Faith Karimi, CNN

(CNN) - 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.

Students taunted 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. Another said, "you're so fat."

One comment from a boy aboard the bus was especially painful. He told 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, according to CNN affiliate WHAM.

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. Recorded by a student Monday with a cell phone camera, the brazen example of bullying went viral and spurred international outrage.

The incident occurred in Greece, New York, near Rochester. Klein is a bus monitor for the Greece Central School District and the harassers hail from the Greece Athena Middle School, media reports said.

Read the full story

Tell us in the comments: We hear often about kids bullying kids, but have you witnessed or experienced kids bullying an adult at school, on the playground, on the bus or on field trips?

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Filed under: Bullying • Issues
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Yaw

    Teaching, I wish everyone should teach at the high school level. I met the most bullying and uncultured year group ever in my teaching career(Cambridge Int. School, Kumasi, Ghana, 2006 JHS graduating group). Two boys threatened my life - one to slap me and the other to hit my head with a wooden stick. Three girls replied me with my own discipline rod on separate incidences.
    Thank God, in all instances, I overcome all those uncultured pupils and punished them to serve as a deterrent to other students.
    It is not safe to teach at a place where there is no co-ordination among the staff to stamp-out such behaviours.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
  2. Ken DeVault

    And these are the kind of kids who give my generation a bad reputation

    June 23, 2012 at 2:29 am |
  3. Out Of Touch

    Wow CNN middle schoolers being cruel..... Seems like CNN is so far removed from the public school system they have no idea how real kids act. Children's social structure is just like adults except considerably less refined, instead of suggesting pilates they just call you fat, instead of cutting your hours at work they tell you you smell bad and throw things at you. Kids are cruel, they always have been and always will be it's just a part of being a social animal.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  4. Allie Robbins

    I would like to see the bullies that tortured the Bus Monitor have to actually hand her the check she's going to get for her dream vacation. Kids, and especially bullies, need 'tangible' consequences.

    June 22, 2012 at 5:52 am |
  5. John smiff

    It should be noted a web community that AC tried to villify a few months ago has raised ~275k for her. Reddit.

    June 22, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • Reddit

      You are a moron, Reddit didn't raise 275k the internet did.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:35 am |
      • Ed

        Reddit donated the vast majority, Einstein.

        June 22, 2012 at 4:41 am |
  6. Clementine Kennedy-knox

    I undersand and hope a fast healing process for the grandmother. I am a grandmother and a student spitted in my face and it has been so hard to get over this situation.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  7. aaron

    that's bad bad bad bad bad bad kids , you know what ? if that's my kids ....... they will stay at hospital

    June 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  8. Michael Lucchesi

    If this is what these kids to to an adult what are they doing to the weaker kids there age? well bigger jails is in the tax payers future, if I was her I'd use a tazor, this just proves that anyone can make babys, so before brith EVERYONE should have to take parenting classes

    June 21, 2012 at 6:15 pm |