One day after the start of international fallout following a viral video of bus monitor Karen Klein being mercilessly harassed by middle school students, she opened up to say she will not press charges.
Klein, of the upstate New York community of Greece, came into nationwide fame after a student uploaded a video to YouTube showing her receiving vicious insults and shocking threats while on duty as a school bus monitor.
A wave of public outcry spread across the world, as the Internet called for swift punishment for the students involved. Greece Central School District officials have identified the four seventh-grade boys from the video.
Klein appeared on several national talk shows this morning. She said she hadn't yet received an apology from any of the students who harassed her. She also said she doesn't plan to press charges against the boys, but feels they should be punished somehow.
Viewers of the video who felt moved by Klein's plight have been voraciously donating to a fundrasing page on Indiegogo launched by Max Sidorov of Toronto. A victim of bullying as a child, Sidorov told Metro yesterday he felt compelled to do something nice for Klein, so he set up the page to raise money she could use toward a vacation.
When Klein heard during her #%21" target="_blank">interview on "Fox & Friends" that supporters had raised $125,000 by Thursday morning, she was shocked.
"It's unbelievable... it's wonderful," she said, her eyes filling with tears.
By 5:30 pm Thursday, donations had nearly doubled to $325,000, and the numbers continue to climb.
Ironically, the "About Me" section on Klein's Facebook page reads, "Still working for Greece, unless I come into lots of money I will continue to work....I enjoy it also."
Meanwhile, in a move that sparked an immediate negative response from donors, Sidorov took to the updates forum today on his fundraising page to alert supporters that someone else had set up a similar campaign to raise money for him as a gesture of gratitude for his hand in raising money for Klein.
"Wow, im almost crying, that is insanely nice…thank you dearly Case Prince," Sidorov wrote.
Sidorov initially posted the link to the fundraiser Prince launched for him, though he removed it after Klein's donors accused him of trying to profit from her fundraising campaign.
"I had no idea someone is starting a fundraiser for me, i never asked for anything, that was just a kind gesture from someone," Sidorov later wrote. "I have received a lot of emails about people wanting to help me so that is why I posted those links, I have taken them down so people stop accusing me. Jeez."
Sidorov has not responded to Metro's request for comment today.