The Associated Press
ROCHESTER -- A New York school bus monitor who was verbally assaulted by four middle schoolers, an attack that generated international outrage and an outpouring of support for the woman when a video of the taunts went viral, has told police she does not want the boys to face criminal charges.
The monitor, Karen Klein, 68, told police she is happy with the swift and strong community response against the verbal attack aboard a Greece Central School District bus, which was captured in a 10-minute video, authorities said yesterday.
Criminally charging the boys, all seventh-graders, would require their conduct to rise to the level of a crime, which so far has not been found, Greece Police Capt. Steve Chatterton said.
The YouTube video was viewed more than 1.5 million times by yesterday morning. An online crowd-funding site raised more than $225,000 by midday to help send Klein on vacation.
Klein said she hoped the boys' parents would view the video and talk to their children about being "a little more respectful." Parents of all four boys say their children will be punished, Chatterton said.
A student recorded the video. In it, Klein is seen trying her best to ignore a stream of profanity, insults and outright threats directed at her. At one point, she breaks down in tears.
Klein told NBC's "Today" show yesterday that it took "a lot of willpower" not to respond to Monday's jeers from the boys riding the bus.
"I'm not usually that calm. Just ask my kids," Klein, a grandmother of eight, said during the interview. "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." Klein said she was "amazed" at the support she received.
"I've got these nice letters, emails, Facebook messages," she said. "It's like, wow, there's a whole world out there that I didn't know. It's really awesome."
Klein didn't report the bullying, but school officials notified police when they learned of it.