1-Year Suspension for N.Y. Middle School Bus Bullies
Four New York teens who verbally bullied their elderly bus monitor have been suspended from their upstate middle school for one year each.
CNN reports that the four students, who were caught on video tormenting 68-year-old grandmother Karen Klein so viciously that the elderly woman was reduced to tears, will also be required to complete 50 hours of community service with senior citizens and enroll in a bullying prevention program as punishment for their shocking behavior.
“Following individual meetings this week with school and district administrators, each family waived their right to a hearing and agreed to one-year suspensions from school and regular bus transportation,” the Greece Central School District announced in a statement on Friday.
The incident, which occurred on the second-to-last day of school, involved four seventh-grade boys from Athena Middle School in Greece, New York who were unknowingly recorded by another student as they rode a school bus home. The four boys mercilessly tormented Klein for over 10 minutes in a stream of profane and deeply personal insults, calling her “fat,” “ugly,” and threatening to rob her home and perform sex acts on her.
One student says that if he stabbed Klein, “my knife would go through you like butter because it’s all fucking lard.”
Another one of the teens told Klein that she didn’t have any family because “they all killed themselves because they didn’t want to be near you.” In fact, Klein’s oldest son did commit suicide 10 years ago.
Appearing on NBC’s “Today” show on June 21, Klein told host Matt Lauer that the boys’ incessant bullying made her “feel really terrible,” but that she’d “get over it.”
“I’ve gotten over everything else,” she said.
Public outrage and an outpouring of sympathy followed after the video of the bullying attack went viral. A fund meant to raise $5,000 for Klein has been flooded with donations; as of June 25, more than $650,000 has been raised. Klein has also received gifts from Disney and Southwest Airlines.