POLITICS

Toronto man's online campaign for bullied US bus monitor nets almost $700,000

07/20/2012 12:32 EDT | Updated 09/19/2012 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - A Toronto man's online fundraiser for a New York state school bus monitor who was bullied by her charges has netted close to $700,000 in donations from tens of thousands of people worldwide.

Max Sidorov launched the campaign a month ago after seeing a YouTube video that showed four middle school students hurling insults at 68-year-old Karen Klein while riding the school bus.

A spokeswoman for Indiegogo, the fundraising website used in the campaign, says the tally has passed the $683,000 mark, with money pouring in from 85 countries.

That figure could still grow by the time the fundraiser ends at 11:59 p.m. PST tonight.

Four seventh graders in Greece, N.Y. have been suspended in the incident.

Sidorov, a nutritionist, has said he was motivated to act after being bullied as a child, and he hopes the grandmother of eight can use the money to retire early.

"I had some issues with bullying myself when I was a young kid and had just come to Canada, so I know where she's coming from," Sidorov said of Klein last month.

"Maybe we can send her on a great, early retirement."

-With files from The Associated Press