Four teens who mocked an elderly lady bus monitor into tears in a cellphone video they took have hit the big time: the Youtube video has gone viral, and they are the subject of anger and scorn all over the Internet.
Karen Klein, 68, drove a school bus for the Greece, NY school district for 20 years before she took the job of riding with middle school students. She was targeted with a bullying rampage from four boys, who taunted her for being ugly, for her weight, and for being stupid.
Klein, who is hearing impaired, didn't hear all of their insults, but she knew one of them was taping the insults on a cellphone. The boys laughed at her and poked her in the head and arms and threatened to steal from her home. She did hear one of the taunts: "You're so ugly your kids should kill themselves."
It made her cry. Her son committed suicide 10 years ago, according to a 13wham.com report.
After being inundated with protests of outrage and indignation from around the world, the president of the Greece school district said she hoped the incident could be a 'teachable moment' on incivility.
The Greece, NY police and school district are still mulling over the punishment the offenders should face and whether charges should be brought. Meanwhile, Klein's harrassment has hit an international chord. The Youtube video had almost a quarter of a million hits in less than two days.
Sympathizers to Klein found a way to help her: they established a fund to give her a vacation. It has hit almost $114,000 in a day.
The cruelty of the students towards Klein - and the reaction of people who have seen the video - is amazing.
What do you think should be done with the four tormentors? What kind of punishment do they deserve? Do you think this kind of behavior is just bullying gone wild, or is it a sign our society is falling apart?
Take the poll and post your thoughts (and well wishes for Karen Klein.)