NEW YORK – Four seventh-grade boys from upstate New York who were caught on video mercilessly taunting a 68-year-old bus monitor have received their punishment.
The school system in the Rochester suburb of Greece says it will suspend the middle school students from school and from using regular bus transportation for a year for bullying Karen Klein.
The students will be transferred to a special alternative education program because the district is legally required to give the students an education. Each student will also be required to complete 50 hours of community service with senior citizens.
They will be able to reapply to middle school after their complete the discipline.
In a statement, the school system said each of the students involved admitted to wrongdoing, accepted the consequences and agreed to let the district publically release the terms of their disciplinary action.
The mobile phone video uploaded to YouTube by a fellow student drew millions of viewers. The video shows Klein trying her best to ignore a stream of profanity, insults and outright threats.
One student taunted: "You don't have a family because they all killed themselves because they don't want to be near you." Klein's oldest son killed himself 10 years ago.
Eventually, she appears to break down in tears.
A fund drive that began in Canada with a goal of $5,000 to help Klein take a nice vacation raised more than $667,304 as of Friday.
Klein has received attention through social and news media with interviews such as an appearance earlier this week on NBC's "Today Show." She was honored Thursday in Boston, where she was greeted by a youth cheerleading squad and escorted on a red carpet to receive an honorary Boston school bus monitor certificate.
Klein could not be reached for comment Friday. However, police have said Klein did not want the boys to face criminal charges.
In the AP interview last week, Klein asked people to leave the boys alone.
"Threatening them? No. That's not the way to go about things," she said. "They're just kids."
"I don't want to judge anybody or put them in jail or anything like that. I just want them to learn a lesson."
WSYR-TV in Syracuse first reported the school district's decision.