A few months back the nation was traumatized by the graphic visualization of a bus driver being bullied by a band of middle schoolers. As a nation, I doubt we could find a person who disagrees with the statement, “Bullying has become a problem.” Yet, when you watch a video that depicts an older woman being harassed by a group of adolescent boys, society seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Out of the ashes, hope emerged. The viral nature of the video became the driving force behind multiple cash donations for the bullied bus driver. At last count Karen Klein had received over $700,000 in donations, more than she would likely receive in 15 years of salary from the school district. Klein has donated an undisclosed amount of her newly acquired money to launch a new anti-bullying foundation (article excerpt below).
In sharing this article and the previous account of Klein’s incident I was met with mixed responses. Everyone I spoke to agreed that bullying a bus driver was terrible. Yet, when the topic of $700,000 came to the discussion, people seemed to disagree as to whether or not the bus driver should have received this level of compensation. Whether you agree or disagree with the donations raised, something far more important occurred that underlies the true power of internet media to change our culture. One video, one bus driver connected to an already visible issue (bullying) equates to millions of views and nearly a million dollars in resulting donations. Take the same model and apply it to existing foundations or organizations focused on positive change and you have a recipe for significant change.
Rochester, NY (CNN) — A bus monitor made famous after video of her being bullied by students went viral in June is using her experience to make a difference.
Karen Klein has received more than $700,000 in donations from around the world.
And she says she’s using some of that to launch an anti-bullying foundation.
“We’re hoping to get other people to put money in it, and this is going to be for education for people that have been bullied, for people that just — for people that need it for this situation,” says Klein.
Though Klein hasn’t finalized the details of her foundation yet, she took part Sunday in the “Strike Out Bullying Ball Game” at Frontier Field in Rochester, New York.