The world fell in love with Karen KleinÖ after feeling sorry for her. Sheís the school bus monitor in New York that was badly teased by teenage students and the 10-minute video of torment was posted on YouTube.
In recent days, Klein, a 68-year-old grandmother, has done interviews saying she felt sorry for the kids and that she didnít want to press harassment charges. She also said she wasnít really crying, merely pretending to cry, and kept telling herself she would never let the boys get the best of her.
After the story made headlines, a Canadian man started an online campaign to raise money for Klein to take a dream vacation. His goal was to get $5,000 in donations but after worldwide interest gripped the compassionate public, the fund grew to over $660,000 (and counting). In case youíre doing the math, thatís a vacation and a retirement fund.
With so much generosity shown to this bullying victim, it has many people scratching their head asking, ďIs she worth it? She put up with some immature kids. Thatís what working with schoolchildren is all about.Ē
One writer on a tabloid website suggests Klein give back the money (once she gets it) claiming she doesnít deserve it. The Huffington Post writer takes it one step further saying Klein should also return her $15,000 salary as a bus monitor. The reason? Because as a bus monitor sheís certainly not doing anything in the video except taking a bus ride, said the writer.
Perhaps it would be fair to criticize Klein if she captured the video and went to the media and tried to raise hell and sue and be out for blood, but a victim is a victim. She didnít ask to be videotaped (as far as we know), she didnít go public with the story (as far as we know), she didnít ask for a fundraiser (as far as we know).
Does she deserve the generous compensation from strangers? Whoís to say? If what she went through made her feel terrible about herself and a nice gift from the public makes her feel better and shows her that there are decent people in the world, then what harm is that doing?
Itís always funny to me when doing something nice gets flipped around and it becomes a controversy.