Reddit and 4chan Responds To Verbal Harassment Of Karen Klein
UPDATE: Over $200,000 has been raised for Klein as of 6/21/2012!
Over $540,000 as of 6/22/2012!
Yesterday there was a video that gained national attention. A group of 12 and 15 year old children teamed up and heavily abused bus driver Karen Klein in Greece, New York. The entire 10 minute event was caught on video. Storify user Ben Doernberg put together the responses to the video from Reddit, 4Chan, Twitter, and the media. Klein is a hearing-impaired grandmother of eight and she was hired to keep the kids safe on the school bus. The students mocked her weight, low income, threatened to hurt her with weapons and vandalize her property. At one point, one of the kids said that her children should “kill themselves” for being “ugly.” Klein said that was the most hurtful comment because her son took his own life 10 years ago.
Within 7 hours of the clips being uploaded, the Reddit community worked to identify the specific school that the students attended and sent e-mails notifying school district officials and local news outlets in the Greece, New York area. Some Redditors found Karen’s Facebook page where she discussed not having much money and being a widow for almost 17 years. Reddit user Max Sidorov created a donation page on Indiegogo.com called “Lets Give Karen -The bus monitor- H Klein A Vacation!” Over $33,000 has been collected thus far on the donation page. Discussion board 4Chan started a hacktivist movement to identify many of the students that were on the video. 4Chan contacted the students’ parents directly. The four students involved in the verbal abuse are being investigated by the authorities.
In the 2000s and 2010s, a cultural anti-bullying movement gained popularity in the U.S. and U.K. During the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, it was determined that the two students that had killed 13 people, wounded 24, and then committed suicide had been bullied for years. There is evidence that suggests that bullying increases the risk of suicide. Verbal abuse should not be tolerated in any way, shape, or form. If you have been the victim of bullying or know someone that is a victim, visit StopBullying.gov to find out more information.