The upstate New York bus monitor who was the target of a videotaped verbal assault at the hands of four middle schoolers does not want the boys to face criminal charges.
The videos show over 10 minutes of students relentlessly harassing the school bus monitor, Karen Klein. WHAM reports that Klein has worked in the Greece School District for 20 years.Police in the Rochester suburb of Greece say 68-year-old Karen Klein is happy with the swift and strong community response against the verbal attack, which was captured in a 10-minute video that went viral online. Klein told police that although she was harassed, at no point did she feel threatened. "The victim has to feel threatened. That's what the laws say. The victim has to feel threatened. And while she was harassed, she says she did not feel threatened at any time," said Chatterton.
Greece police Capt. Steve Chatterton says criminally charging the seventh-grade boys would require their actions to rise to the level of a crime. So far, the conduct hasn't been found to reach that level.Police say they verified the identities of the students on the video. Greece police investigators have talked with all four of students and their parents. Police say they spoke with Klein and explained to her the options she has. Police say that at this time, Klein does not want to press criminal charges against the school. She told police she is happy with how the school is handling the issue. Greece Police Department Captain Steve Chatterton says his department supports Klein but is considering criminal charges with the district attorney's office. "Our ultimate goal was to work for her and to bring this to a successful conclusion and she understand that. We explained to her, we are not going to stop with our investigation. We are going to continue and see if it does rise to the level of a crime," said Chatterton. The Greece Middle School principal said disciplinary action will be taken to the fullest extent possible. The superintendent said they can not share the specifics of that discipline with the public. There has been such a public outcry over the case that police are making sure the four students aren't in any danger. All of them have received death threats for their role in bullying Klein. "They're 13 years old. their families have been threatened, their brothers and sisters have been threatened. We have custody of one of their cell phones and it has over 1000 missed calls and over 1000 text messages threatening him," said Capt. Chatterton.
By Thursday morning, the video that was posted to YouTube had been viewed more than 1.5 million timesA campaign has started to raise money to send Klein on a vacation. The listed goal was $5000, and by midnight on Wednesday the campaign had raised more than $95,000. The originator of the fund promises all that money will go to Klein. Now a vacation may turn into a retirement plan. There's still 30 days left to contribute to the campaign. (Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)