GREECE, N.Y. — A former New York bus monitor who was videotaped being bullied by students was presented with a check Tuesday for more than $703,000.
After seeing the video, Max Sidorov, a 25-year-old nutritionist from Toronto, created a fundraising page on crowdfunding website Indiegogo to fund a vacation for 68-year-old Karen Klein. Klein can be seen in the video trying to ignore merciless taunts and even threats by four boys who were students at Athena Middle School.
The video, captured on a student’s cellphone, was later posted to YouTube, where it has been viewed nearly 8.5 million times.
It prompted outrage both within Greece, a Rochester suburb, and throughout the world. The four students involved in the bullying received death threats, according to Rochester police, and were later suspended from school for one year.
Klein, who had worked for the Greece, N.Y., school system for 23 years received flowers, letters and messages from supporters. And when Sidorov started the Indiegogo campaign, the world responded, with $703,833 in donations pouring in from more than 30,000 people in 84 countries, according to theChronicle Herald.
Sidorov pointed out that the fundraiser, which began as a reaction to cruel words, ended up showcasing the kinder side of human nature.
“These are middle school kids, and they’re not just bullying her, they’re saying … some really disgusting things,” he said. “But people just want to help others.”