Bus monitor Karen Klein is currently at the center of a viral news story, since a video surfaced on June 19 that showed schoolchildren verbally abusing her during a bus ride.
Once the video went live, people from all over the Internet grouped together to show their support for Klein by raising thousands of dollars to fund her very own dream vacation. In only two days, more than 17,000 donors across the country pooled together almost $400,000 to fund a trip. Donations are still being accepted for another 28 days via an Indiegogo account.
The harassment was recorded by student Luis Recio Jr, and was shortly uploaded onto YouTube by user CapitalTrigga. Within only several hours the video went viral and reached the popular website Reddit. The video has racked up almost 4 million views and has generated more than 30,000 “dislikes” on YouTube.
It might've seemed as if the person responsible for uploading the YouTube video was trying to poke more fun at Klein, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
We caught up with CapitalTrigga to ask him about the video.
Who are you? What do you do and how did you shoot that video?
I am a high school student that goes to Greece Athena High School. I know every kid in the video personally. I didn't shoot the video. I saw that Luis posted it on Facebook, so I posted it on YouTube to raise awareness.
What compelled you to want to upload it to YouTube?
I decided to upload the video because it is not right, what those kids did. Nobody deserves to be treated like that. I just thought that somebody needed to stand up for Karen.
What are your thoughts on how quickly it spread online? When did you see it start getting shared?
I'm pretty shocked that it spread so fast online, I did not expect it to even hit 100,000 views. I started seeing it get shared at around 1 a.m. Wednesday (06/20/12) morning -- approximately 9 hours after it was uploaded.
What has Karen said to you since the video went viral and she has raised over $300,000? How is she doing and what is she going to do with that money?
I personally haven't talked to Karen since the incident. I definently would like to get a chance to talk to her. I have no idea what she is going to do with the money. We will find out soon enough.
And we did. Karen Klein made appeared on Anderson 360 last night, where she learned that Southwest Airlines offered to fly her and nine other people to Disneyland for free. Since the incident went public, Klein has also started to receive apologies from the kids who bullied her.
[Shira Lazar was a contributing reporter for this piece.]