- Rep. Jeff Miller: ‘Ain’t no leash for VA’
- Al Qaeda nets $125M from ransom payoffs from Europe since 2008
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich cruising to re-election: survey
- Landslide hits Indian village; 150 may be trapped
- Albania bank loses $7M in theft; police arrest 2
- Gov. Mike Pence irked as Obama sends illegals to Indiana on sly
- Israel, White House say Obama phone call to demand cease-fire was fake
- Nancy Pelosi: Deporting kids un-Christian, sends them ‘into a burning building’
- Islamist militants seize special forces base in Benghazi, Libya
- Feds sue Pennsylvania State Police over women’s fitness tests
Online video of N.Y. bullying stirs passion, anger
Bus monitor wowed by cash and sympathy
Question of the Day
A video of four seventh-grade boys mercilessly taunting a 68-year-old bus monitor in New York state that went viral has turned the victim into an international fundraising juggernaut and opened her tormentors to an onslaught of threats and abuse.
At the same time, police in the Rochester suburb of Greece, N.Y., were stepping up patrols around the houses of the middle-schoolers accused of taunting her. Police didn’t name the boys but their purported identities leaked out on the Web.
Greece Police Capt. Steve Chatterton was compelled to warn against vigilante justice. One boy received more than a thousand death threats and commenters online were clear — and sometimes venomous — in their desire that the boys be severely punished.
“A threat for a threat does not make the situation better,” Chatterton said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
The verbal abuse was captured in a 10-minute cellphone video recorded Monday by a student of Athena Middle School and later posted to YouTube. The video shows Klein trying her best to ignore the stream of profanity, insults and outright threats. One student taunted: “You don’t have a family because they all killed themselves because they don’t want to be near you.”
Klein’s oldest son killed himself 10 years ago.
Eventually, she appears to break down in tears.
The swell of support for Klein follows a recent surge in awareness of bullying that has brought the issue from the classroom to the stage and screen to the White House. Bullying expert Stephen Birchak, a professor of counseling at Albany’s College of Saint Rose, said the enormous flow of money for Klein is no surprise given the shame we feel as a society over the incident.
The stickier question is: How could the students be so cruel?
Birchak noted that the kids are growing up in a world of harsh political debates and reality TV shows in which berating people is part of the entertainment. Meanwhile, taking videos of people in humiliating situations and sharing the images has become all too normal among many adolescents, “Kids are growing up saying, ‘OK, this is how you treat your fellow human being and it’s OK to do those things,’” he said.
Police said Klein does not want the boys to face criminal charges, partly because of the storm of criticism leveled at them.
Klein told NBC’s “Today” show Thursday that it took “a lot of willpower” not to respond to the jeers from the four boys riding the bus operated by the Greece Central School District. Klein said she was “amazed” at the support she received.
“I’ve got these nice letters, emails, Facebook messages,” she said. “It’s like, wow, there’s a whole world out there that I didn’t know. It’s really awesome.”
Klein did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment.
TWT Video Picks
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of politicizing business
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world