June 22 - Bullies say sorry to bus monitor they verbally tormented as donations for her near $500,000
Two middle school bullies have issued lukewarm apologies to the 68-year-old school bus monitor who they tormented, threatened and ultimately drove to tears.
Appearing on Anderson Cooper’s show Thursday night, Karen Klein, a bus monitor in upstate New York, spoke about the verbal abuse she endured when a group of students from Athena Middle School targeted her on the bus ride home Monday afternoon, then uploaded video of the cruel harassment to the Internet.
Cooper revealed two of the four students had issued statements of apology.
“I am so sorry for the way I treated you,” one of the students, named Josh, said in a statement. “When I saw the video I was disgusted and could not believe I did that.”
But Klein says she’s hesitant to believe the student is sincere.
“Even if he wasn’t picking on me, it was something else,” Klein told Cooper. “So I just don’t think I would believe anything Josh had to say.”
Another student, Wesley, said he feels “really bad” about the incident.
“I wish I had never done those things,” Wesley said in a statement. “If that had happened to someone in my family, like my mother or grandmother, I would be really mad at the people who did that to them.”
But Klein says neither student has apologized in person, and she doubts the other two bullies will apologize at all.
Klein’s story went viral after a 10-minute video titled, “Making The Bus Monitor Cry,” was uploaded to YouTube earlier this week. The clip — which has gotten nearly four million hits — shows students relentlessly berating and taunting Klein, calling her a “fat a--,” threatening to stab her and urinate on her house, and suggesting her family kill themselves.
A fundraising website in Klein’s honor has raised more than $450,000 — enough for her to retire — but she says she has no plans to quit her job just yet.
“It’s a nice gesture, but I don’t know if it’s real or not,” she told Cooper. “It sounds too good to be true.
On Wednesday, the father of one of the bullies told ABC News his family was receiving death threats.
While Klein told Cooper she “doesn’t think” she will press criminal charges, both the school and local police are conducting an investigation.
Despite their cruel treatment, Klein also said she doesn’t think the students are bad kids “deep down.”
“I want them to make sure that they never do this again, to anybody,” she said. “I would like them to be at least kept off the bus for a year, and be forbidden to play any sports.
“Somebody mentioned community service, and I thought that was a pretty good idea, too.”
VIDEO: Karen Huff Klein Bullying Video: Upsetting Footage Causes Community Outrage