Bullied bus monitor Karen Klein: donate to people that have more problems than I do

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I wanted to make the headline about the fact that there’s now a petition, I sh*t you not, to let bullied bus monitor Karen Klein collect her now $664,000 donation tax free. This isn’t Karen’s doing, and she’s mentioned several times that she doesn’t feel like she deserves the money, and that she’s going to make sure she pays taxes on it. So I didn’t want to put that on her. It does seem ridiculous when you consider how much money she’s getting.

Yesterday Karen met with the young Canadian guy who set up the indiegogo page raising money in her honor. Good Morning American had a segment that shows the two meeting at her home in Greece, NY. (Video is above.) As much as we’ve been saturated with this story, I found their interaction sweet and I still consider it heartwarming. Karen now says that she’s made up her mind to retire. She plans to make some home improvements with the money, along with donating to charities for disabilities that affect her family. Here’s more:

Karen Klein, 68, welcomed Max Sidorov into her Greece, New York home on Tuesday night to thank him for setting up the website asking for donations to send her on vacation, which will now change her life for good and even allow her to retire from her job on the school bus.

“Great. Great. Nice guy, nice guy. I’m very appreciative,” said Klein after the emotional meeting, reported Good Morning America.

As RadarOnline.com previously reported, four seventh grade boys from the Greece Central School District near Rochester, New York videoed their torment and then posted the shocking clip — which had more than 1.2 million YouTube hits in less than two days — showing a sobbing Klein being bombarded with insults about her weight, graphic sexual comments, threats, called poor, and then physically assaulted with a book.

Her guardian angel was inspired to help the grandmother of eight because he had been bullied himself once too. “I know how it feels, nobody should have to go through that, ever,” revealed the Toronto native. “If everyone gave each other support and kindness, none of this would ever happen anywhere.”

With an original goal of $5,000, the Indiegogo.com site is now catapulting up toward a million, and more than 7,500 signatures have accumulated on a Change.org petition urging President Obama to allow Klein to receive the donations tax-free.

“I almost feel like I don’t deserve it. They should be sending their donations to other people that have more problems than I do,” said Klein, but she is determined to do something useful with the money. “I need new carpeting, maybe a paint job here and there. Pay off all my bills so that I can retire.”

Her daughter, Amanda Romig told Radar last week that her mom also plans to give some of the cash to charity.

“She has a lot of ideas including making a donation here and there. My nephew has autism and my niece has Down syndrome, and with those types of disabilities the kids are going to get picked on too, so she wants to help both causes,” she explained.

[From Radar Online]

Well I assume this is the last we’ll hear about Karen for a while. I mean, unless she gets a reality show. This is a story where a person got famous (and rich) fast, but I honestly think she handled it very well. She didn’t seem smug about it, she focused on the issue of bullying, and most importantly she never sought the spotlight initially, she wasn’t the one who asked people for money, and she just went with it and granted interviews after her video went viral. I don’t have a problem with this lady and how she dealt with what was handed to her, both on the bus and through the media.

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37 Responses to “Bullied bus monitor Karen Klein: donate to people that have more problems than I do”

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  1. brin says:

    It’s nice to see a story about people doing the right thing in the news.

  2. MsLib says:

    Trying to control 7-8th grade boys when they are in a pack is impossible. She was just doing her job – ignoring the little hoodlums and then hopefully reporting them to the principal.

  3. Jackie O says:

    i hope she does give the majority of it away to charity. even she realizes getting this high amount of money is rather ridiculous.

  4. Adrien says:

    Take the money and run. Take the benefactor with you too, he’s kinda cute, in a hipster way.

  5. Macey says:

    I hope she takes the money and just sits back and enjoys it. I cant believe how many ppl trying to tell her what to do with it, its hers and hers alone to do with what she wants. It sounds like a lot of money to the average person but it really isnt. she’s now going to have to pay accountants and all kinds of other stuff. not to mention all the ppl with their hands out. Im sure she’s been bombarded with “charities” wanting to get their hands on it. Im not saying theres anything wrong with that but you have to be super careful with charitable donations b/c most turn out to be nothing more than a way to pay hefty salaries for CEOs, admins and fund raisers with very little of the money going to the actual cause. Hopefully she has someone trustworthy on her side to warn her of all the bogus ones out there and to manage things for her. Id hate to read about it all being gone a yr from now b/c it wasnt managed properly.

  6. Ray Guidry says:

    I just saw this on the petition website:

    ** UPDATE **

    Thank you to the 7,500+ people who signed this petition. I have been repeatedly advised that it was actually not necessary because there are no taxes on the money being given to Karen.

    As one CPA wrote me: “As long as no single individual exceeds the yearly gift amount (around $12,000), there are no taxes. And even then, the donor pays the taxes, not Karen.”

    So this petition is unnecessary. I don’t want to confuse people with misinformation, especially if there’s a risk it might dissuade people from giving to Karen. So I am closing this petition.

    Again, it turns out that it is not necessary. Karen’s windfall is not going to be taxed. I didn’t realize this when i started the petition, but now that it’s clear, I am taking the petition down.

    • claire says:

      I don’t know why that person wasn’t aware the petition wasn’t necessary. That issue was cleared up, and repeated numerous times, back during the first few days of the donation-gathering. I think that person just got overzealous and wanted to be a part of things.

      I love that she will give some of this money to charity. It’s the right thing to do.

      • e.non says:

        it’s highly unlikely that a canadian citizen would know the details of u.s. tax policy.

  7. Riana says:

    So now people who wanted to suggest she didn’t deserve it and should think of other causes have no more excuses for their jealousy.

    Vey nice. I wish this woman well. She’s lived a hard enough life for her years, time to enjoy and rest.

  8. Jill says:

    Good for her. And I like that he is getting attention, too for doing a nice thing for someone else.

  9. lucy2 says:

    I appreciate her saying that people should give elsewhere now. Many others would see that amount racking up and try to get even more.
    I hope she enjoys retirement, can take care of her bills and her family, and finds a good cause to volunteer her time with.

  10. Buttera Munchausen says:

    Let me see if I’ve got this right. An old lady gets teased and taunted on a school bus and gets more than seven hundred thousand dollars but a guy in Florida literally gets half his faced chewed off by a crazed, naked guy and he gets nothing. Am I the only one who finds this odd?!

    • Jackie O says:

      no, ur not alone.

    • It's ashame says:

      I was saying this to my bf last night. Yeah, it’s sad what happened to her, but I felt the poor homeless man deserved this kind of donation more. Poor guy was just there trying to rest in the shade and was suddenly attacked in the worst possible way. He has a hell of a recovery ahead of him and he’s going to be disfigured for life. I just hope there have been private donations and this man has somewhere to go after he recovers. He deserves to live a comfortable life. My heart breaks for him.

    • KAI says:

      If you find it so odd, go ahead and start a page for the homeless man asking for donations to help him in his recovery.

  11. Luffy says:

    It’s always sad when people don’t like when good things happen to people who are “undeserving”(not them). Just be happy that a decent human being who was previously unhappy is now happy.

    • Aquarius says:

      Luffy, I completely agree with you. I don’t understand why some people are being varying degrees of hostile toward Ms. Klein.

      She’s been a class act through this whole episode, and she is (rightly) attempting to keep the focus on bullying, which is where it needs to be, as it seems that we (collectively) are repeatedly failing to deal with it properly. That is both frustrating and frightening to me.

  12. I really like this woman.

  13. Moonchylde says:

    Unfortunately, people in this society view homeless people as less than human. Don’t even try to deny that you would avoid a homeless man asking for money. There are always the judgements made that they’re going to just use it for booze or drugs anyway. So, yes, it is horrible about what happened to that poor man in Fl, but be realistic.

  14. skuddles says:

    Good for her. It seems very fitting that she has plans to donate a portion towards worthy causes, but I also think it’s perfectly okay that she wants to keep a chunk for herself – pay off her bills, help her family, and retire in comfort. Max deserves a ton of credit for what he did here – what a lovely human being he is!!

    Any further word on whether or not those brats attempted to apologize properly to Karen? I’d also really like to know what, if any repercussions, they will suffer as a result of their disgusting behavior.

  15. Jennifer12 says:

    Money aside, still no word on consequences for those horrible kids nor any word on them apologizing to her in person. The school district is waiting the publicity out, I bet you that. Then they’re going to let it die down and out.

    • skuddles says:

      Thanks for the feedback Jennifer12. I sure hope that at least the parents are taking some action here and not just sweeping this under the rug….

      I wonder if those families feel like they don’t need to apologize now because the victim has been financially compensated (despite the fact that none of the money came from the boy’s families)?

  16. Irishae says:

    I have wondered how would we have reacted if the video showed her ignoring taunts directed at other students? These aren’t isolated incidents, I would put a lot of money on the chance these “kid” bullies have tormented their own peers. I am not in the loop about bus monitor job duties and in no way mean to undermine her terrible treatment, but the fact she couldn’t stand up for herself (for whatever reason) makes me worried that other kids have been bullied in front of her and she simply ignored that, too.

    • Jackie O says:

      exactly…and now she is going to get almost a million dollars for taking absolutely no action against bullying.