Karen Klein, Bullied School Bus Monitor, Receives $140,000 in Donations, Feels Sorry For Kids

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Students on Greece, N.Y., school bus No. 784 tormented Karen Klein to the point of tears this week, calling her awful names and spewing hateful comments.

Amazingly, the 10-minute verbal attack was caught on video and has since gone viral, with support pouring in for the 69-year-old bullied school bus monitor.

Support to the tune of $140,000. That's not a typo.

Karen Klein Pic

It took "a lot of will power" to not fight back, the Greece Central School District employee told NBC's Today this morning. "I'm not usually that calm."

The unidentified middle school students under investigation; any disciplinary action will have to wait until September when school is in session.

Their torment of a widow and grandmother of eight whose son committed suicide is upsetting to say the least, but there is a silver lining to be found.

An online fundraising effort to send Klein on "a vacation of a lifetime" has long surpassed its $5,000 goal, with more than $140,000 (and counting) raised.

"I'm so amazed," she said. "I've gotten the nicest letters, emails, Facebook messages. It's like, wow – there's a whole world out there I didn't know."

Klein, who is semi-retired and worked as a bus driver for 20 years and as a bus monitor for the past three, said she doesn't want the kids to be punished.

Instead, she hopes the parents simply watch the video you see above.

"I'm sorry that your sons acted the way they did," she responded when asked what she would say to their parents. "I'm sure they don't act that way at home, but you never know what they're going to do when they're out of the house."

Most of the 1.5 million people who watched this online wouldn't be so even-handed.

You can find the bullying kids' names quite easily if you look around - we have not posted them here - and local police say they fear serious retaliation.

UPDATE, 6/22: Donations have eclipsed $440,000! Amazing.

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