Karen Klein, Bullied School Monitor, Now Helping Other Victims
10/04/2012 AT 09:45 AM EDT
After a video of the verbal (and even physical, as some students poked her) attack by 7th graders in upstate New York earlier this year went viral, it was seen more than 8.5 million times, and promoted a good Samaritan to set up a donation site, to give Klein a vacation. That request ultimately generated more than $700,000 – with contributors reportedly numbering more than 30,000 from 84 countries.
The result, Wednesday's Today show reports: The Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation, whose slogan is "Stop Bullying Now." (October is also Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.)
"If this is doing good, then I don't need to feel bad about it," said Klein, 68.
Speaking on the NBC program, Klein admitted that she never watched the entire video of the incident. "I just couldn't," she said, adding that she doesn't completely understand how the film clip made its way to YouTube.
"I hope that nobody else has to go through anything like that," Klein said of the lesson she hopes to impart from her experience. "I'd parent [parents] to tell that kids that it's not to be done. It's not right. How would you like it if somebody did it to you?"
"But," she said, "I'm afraid some of the kids have been bullied, and that's why they did what they did."
Some of the 7th graders involved in the incident were given a yearlong suspension from school, and many of them, as well of their parents, wrote Klein letters of apology.
"Four of them are going to an alternative school," said Klein, a grandmother of eight. "They are also supposed to be doing 50 hours of community service at a nursing home, and no sports."