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Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 06/22/2012

Karen Klein bullying case: Internet campaign to help victim brings in donations 


In this June 20, 2012 photo, Karen Klein, 68, of Greece, N.Y., talks about the verbal abuse she endured from Greece middle school students while she was school bus monitor. (Jamie Germano - AP)
If the kids who bullied Greece, N.Y., school bus monitor Karen Klein like apples, then the Internet has a number and a question for them. The number: $500,000. The question: “How you like them apples?

As of the writing of this post, an Indiegogo campaign on Klein’s behalf just cracked $500,000 — yes, as in half-a-million dollars.

If you haven’t heard by now, video of Klein being bullied to tears by middle schoolers has been making its way around the Web this week. The video shows the students using language so foul, the FCC would have a field day with the big, red button were it to air on television. And the insults were so terrible that, at one point, a student tells Klein she should kill herself.

Klein’s son committed suicide years earlier.

In short, the behavior exhibited by these children could easily be incorporated into a lecture on “Lord of the Flies.”

The donation campaign was set up to send Klein on a vacation. But it could potentially be enough to buy her not only an extravagant getaway but a four-bedroom house in a tony New York suburb.

The fundraising is being hosted by funding platform Indiegogo, which gives users an opportunity to launch fundraising campaigns for just about anything. Looking at the site’s homepage Thursday, there was everything from The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman’s “BearLove Good , Cancer Bad” campaign, Nick Wallenda’s walk across Niagara Falls fundraiser and a campaign for an all-ages, roller derby training manual.

Then there’s Klein’s fund. Blowing. Them. All. Away.

The fundraising campaign is lightning in a bottle, powered not only by the emotionally jarring video of an elderly woman being picked on by children old enough to know better, but by the stream of media coverage (yes, here too) that keeps the story going.

Most start-ups and fundraising efforts fail to reach their goals and, when they do, they still have to pay the piper. In other words, the sites that host the fundraiser get a cut of the loot. In the case of Klein’s vacation fund, 4 percent will go back to Indiegogo for hosting the fundraiser, another 3 percent will be tacked on for credit card processing. At this point, that’s more than $20,000 for Indiegogo.

Talk about making money while doing good.

Read more news and ideas about Innovations:

Is it time for a new era of decency?

Why are people giving money to bullied bus monitor?

Karen Klein’s family’s not ready to forgive — not just yet

The Internet’s monster mash

‘CmdrTaco’ | Consumer tech’s third ecosystem

By  |  12:28 PM ET, 06/22/2012

Categories:  Business, Technology, Video, The Lunch Break

 
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