Updated 06/22/2012 10:20 PM
Karen Klein Thanks Those Rallying to Support Her
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A little more than a hundred people came to Greece Apollo to send a message of support to the grandmother and school bus monitor, and they were able to do so in person.
"I don't there's a person in the world who thinks what was done is right,” said Lloyd Ruffle.
They came out as a community to try heal a fresh wound, and call attention to a nationwide problem.
"And make sure bullying ends tonight,” Ruffle said.
Ruffle organized his rally for Karen Klein. A video of her being verbally assaulted by three boys on a school bus has outraged the nation.
"I mean, look at what they said,” Klein said.
As embarrassing is this experience is, Karen hopes others learn from it.
"I should have gone up to the front of the bus and gotten away from them, but then this wouldn't have happened,” she said.
Through Greece Police, two of the boys in the video and two of their parents issued written apologies. One of the boys said, "When I saw the video I was disgusted and could not believe I did that."
"They're genuine,” said Captain Steve Chatterton of the Greece Police Department.
Chatterton says they wanted to apologize in person or make on-camera statements through the media, but because of the threats they've received since this video has gone viral, Chatterton advised them not to.
"What they did was repulsive, but just doing that, threatening the kids is not the answer.”
"I'm not sure if the boys were sincere or not. I really will probably never know,” Klein said.
For Karen, the hurt is still too fresh to completely forgive. But she’s willing to try.
In the last three days, Karen Klein has become a household name.
"I never planned on being a celebrity – it's weird."
Flooded with e-mails and letters supporting her, she's done her best just to read them all.
On this night, she didn't need the internet to feel the love.
"They all want to give me a hug. I wish I could give them a hug."
Klein says she's still not sure if she'll return to work as a bus monitor this fall or not, but with all the money that's already been raised for her online, she's considering retirement.
After making a few more national talk show appearances next week she plans on going on one of those free vacations she's been offered.
"I feel really bad about what I did. I wish I had never done those things. If that had happened to someone in my family, like my mother or grandmother, I would be really mad at the people who did that to them."
"I am the mother of one of the boys that bullied and mistreated you on the bus. I woke up Wednesday morning to find out about the video from multiple phone calls. I was shocked and disgusted when I saw it. It made me cry to see how cruel my son and the other boys were being to you. I feel so horrible about what they did to you. I can not even tell you how badly I feel. I am deeply sorry for what my son did. I wish there was some way to make it up to you. I would like it if he could do some work for you or help you in some way. I'm sure that you don't want him anywhere near you or your property and I don't blame. I am embarrassed , angry and sad about the awful way he treated you. I am truly sorry."
"From the family of Luis and Luis Jr. we apologize, from the bottom of our hearts on what happened. We wish this will never happen again, to nobody and from nobody. Like Luis said, if your friend says to bully somebody, please don't do it....A couple of people have already died because of this. We apologize to Ms. Klein. We're deeply sorry."
"I am so sorry for the way I treated you. When I saw the video I was disgusted and could not believe I did that. I am sorry for being so mean and I will never treat anyone this way again"