Greece, N.Y. --- More than a hundred people gathered on the steps of Greece Apollo Middle School Friday night to show their support for Karen Klein. Friends, neighbors, co-workers, and strangers cheered on the school bus monitor bullied by four middle school age boys this week.
Also present were families who have spent this week having many discussions about bullying and other complicated issues that surround Karen Klein’s story and the fallout days later.
Khadesha Bryant, 17, of Henrietta is one of those who was deeply affected by Klein’s story. She even launched a Facebook page in support of Klein and to fight back against bullying.
“Just that she didn't do anything back,” Bryant said about what impacted her most about Klein’s story. “When people are mean to me I feel bad and I'm mean back but she didn't do anything so it shows me that I can do that too."
The Deacon family of Greece spent this week discussing this video and the fallout from it.
"I felt really sad for her I was actually almost in tears to think that kids would talk to her that way I felt really sad,” Beth Deacon a mother of two boys ages 9 and 12 said. “But now that I see what is happening to the kids and they're getting death threats and everything I feel sad for them too, you can't help it."
"We were mostly talking about how it's strange that you would go nuts on somebody like that who didn't deserve it," Ben Deacon, 12, said of his family’s discussions this week that were made more difficult by his connection to the incident.
"I did watch it and at first I guess I was pretty mad thinking a lot of the same things as those comments,” Deacon continued. “And then I realized I knew a lot of those kids personally so I kind of stood back and I kind of felt sorry but at the same time mad."
“She didn't do things that were probably going through her mind at the time,” Rob Deacon, Ben’s father said of Karen Klein. “She definitely acted with integrity and I really admire that about her."
Klein was greeted at the podium with cheers, chants, and applause as she shared her thoughts with the crowd. Later when asked about families like the Deacon’s and teens like Bryant she pointed to the countless number of people who reached out to her directly this week.
"There are a lot of people that have written and said that they've gotten bullied,” Klein said. "It is going to save some people from being really hurt."