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Harassed bus monitor starts anti-bullying foundation

By Jonathan Noah, CNN
updated 10:32 AM EDT, Thu August 23, 2012
Karen Klein, 68, has decided to start her own campaign called the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation.
Karen Klein, 68, has decided to start her own campaign called the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation.
  • Karen Klein, 68, has decided to start her own campaign to battle bullying
  • A video of the New York bus monitor being harassed by students went viral in June
  • Klein received more than $700,000 in donations; she's using $100,000 of that for her cause

(CNN) -- The upstate New York school bus monitor who received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations after a video of her being harassed by students went viral has decided to use some of the proceeds to start her own anti-bullying foundation.

Now retired, Karen Klein, 68, has decided to start her own campaign, called the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation, on the website "This is for education, for people who have been bullied," Klein told CNN affiliate WROC.

Klein was working as a middle school bus monitor when four students berated her with a stream of profanity, insults, jeers and physical ridicule.

Students suspended for a year

The verbal abuse continued unabated for about 10 minutes while another student filmed the altercation on a cell phone camera.

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Bus monitor Karen Klein on kid bullies
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The video posted to YouTube on June 19, where it received more than 8 million views, showed giggling students from the upstate New York community of Greece heaping insults onto her and jabbing her with a book. The grandmother of eight sits quietly, weeping at one point.

An outpouring of support for Klein resulted in a crowd-funding campaign on, with an initial goal of $5,000 to send the weary bus monitor on vacation.

Emotional reaction to bus monitor harassment

The campaign officially closed in late July, having raised more than $700,000 in donations from more than 32,000 people around the world.

Klein's daughter and administrator for the new anti-bullying foundation, Amanda, told CNN that her mother took home about $650,000 and will be donating $100,000 to her organization. The Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation will provide funding to various organizations and charities for anti-bullying causes.

"This is always something she's wanted to do," Amanda said.

The foundation officially kicks off in October when Klein and others start a weekly anti-bullying tour. According to Amanda, Miss Teen USA Logan West and Miss Universe Leila Lopes of Angola plan to be involved.

"The goal of the anti-bullying campaign is to help teach kids and teens about being kind, friendly and playing nicely with others," Klein says in a video on the foundation's website. "Because of my own personal bullying story, I've now decided to become an advocate of change."