Students who bullied N.Y. bus monitor are suspended for a year

Posted at 10:29 PM, Jun 29, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-29 22:29:20-04

(CNN) — Four middle school students caught on camera verbally abusing their bus monitor have been suspended for a year and will be required to complete 50 hours of community service, school district officials said Friday.

Recorded by a student with a cell phone camera on what was the second-to-last day of school, the brazen bullying went viral and spurred international outrage.

The incident occurred in Greece, New York, near Rochester.

“Following individual meetings this week with school and district administrators, each family waived their right to a hearing and agreed to one-year suspensions from school and regular bus transportation,” the Greece Central School District said in a statement.

The students will be transferred to the district Reengagement Center, it said. Each will also be required to complete 50 hours of community service with senior citizens and must take part in a formal bullying prevention program.

In the video, the students taunt their bus monitor — Karen Klein, 68 — with a stream of profanity, insults, jeers and ridicule. Some boys demanded to know her address, saying they wanted to come to her house to perform sexual acts and steal from her.

One comment from a boy aboard the bus was especially painful, she said. He told her that she does not have family because “they all killed themselves because they didn’t want to be near you.”

Klein’s eldest son took his own life 10 years ago, according to CNN affiliate WHAM.

The bullying continued unabated for about 10 minutes in the video, as a giggling student jabbed Klein’s arm with a book and made fun of her weight.

Klein is a bus monitor for the Greece Central School District, and the harassers hail from a district school, Athena Middle School. Each of the students admitted to wrongdoing, the school district said.

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper this month, Klein said children misbehaved occasionally, but the recorded incident was unlike any other she had experienced.

Despite the torment, she said she does not believe her harassers are bad kids.

“Not deep down. But when they get together, things happen,” she said.