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Bus drivers and monitors receive special gifts at the mall

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Rochester: Bus drivers and monitors receive special gifts at the mall
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There was an overwhelming response from the community at Greece Ridge Mall for Karen Klein. YNN's Christina Noce has more on the trip to the mall.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- After a video showing a bus monitor being bullied and taunted for more than ten minutes, the community is standing behind Karen Klein.

At Greece Ridge Mall the community came together for a school bus monitor and driver appreciation weekend where they offered hugs, words of support and gave a glimpse into what happens once students step on the bus.

Less than one week ago, Karen Klein was a school bus monitor at Greece Apollo Middle School. Now she is a face recognized in public and a household name associated with victims of bullying.

To put bus drivers and monitors on the same level as teachers, Greece Ridge Mall honored them with an appreciation weekend, where they received gifts, coupons and discounts at multiple stores.

After being poked, taunted and brought to tears for almost ten minutes, Karen Klein says she planned to keep the horrific ordeal to herself.

But as the video went viral with over 630,000 views on Youtube, everyone knows bullies are not deterred by an age factor.

While Karen Klein declined to press charges against the students involved, she suggested the school district suspend the students from bus service or sports for the upcoming year.

Other bus monitors and drivers said the behavior on the video is not so foreign to them and she agrees that respect for authority is what's lacking.

“These kids, I don't think they really care,” Karen Klein said.

Bus monitor, Carmen DeJesus said, “When they're by themselves, they are nice and calm and you can talk to them but when they are together in front of their little friends, they tend to show off in front of other students.”

Even though the bus is supposed to be an extension of the classroom, Debby Sue, a driver for ten years says this isn't always the case and parents can be part of the solution.

Linda Cipura, bus monitor, said, “They will believe their children before they believe an adult. It starts at home, and sometimes parents have attitudes with us about their children.”

While Karen Klein did go not on the offensive against the students in the video, people across the world are doing it for her with signs of appreciation.

The fundraiser website set up to give Karen Klein a vacation has now raised more than $600,000 dollars with donations from as far as Australia.

While Karen Klein is still unsure if the students' apologies are only based on getting caught, she is excited to move on and hopes this experience will provoke changes to the school policies regarding bus behavior and bullying.

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