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Social Media Call To Action: Bullied on a Bus


When Karen Huff (senior citizen) was bullied on a bus, the guy Max Sidorov that found the video on Facebook, reposted it to Indiegogo (a social fundraising site) and named and shamed the school involved. He wanted to raise money for Karen to have a vacation by working, fund raising, and even with some tips on how to win more football bets– well, $600,000 dollars later (and still a month to go), Karen will get a vacation of a lifetime, she might be renting a beach house from the top outer banks vacation rentals for the whole summer!

Every week the Press call on me to give a quote on how people waste time online, how Kony2012 was a failure and that people will tweet but not respond to a Call to Action. Yet these stories like Karen Huff on Indiegogo emerge all the time, showing that we DO put our money where our mouth/tweets are: money is how the community shows value and they show value by contributing it to sites like Indiegogo, Pozible, Kickstarter etc all the time:NOTE: I didn’t watch this all the way through – I tried but it was too hard to do. Fair warning? Six and Half Million Views as of this moment:

What would you do if you saw the above video on TV or heard about it on the radio? tsk tsk at the TV? Ring someone?

From the Indiegogo description

Above is a video of a 68-year-old bus monitor named Karen Klein being verbally harassed by a group of middle schoolers on their way home from Athena Middle School in Greece, New York. Throughout the ten minute video, you can hear the kids verbally berate the woman, calling her a bitch, fatass, poor, ugly, and various other words of the like. At one point in the video, you can hear one of the kids yell, “You’re so fuckin poor you fat ass,” in which Karen responds, “I try to live by some of these words, I try and it’s really hard,” referring to the words on her purse. Now, I don’t know about you, but that broke my fucking heart. There’s even a point in the video where one of the kids touches Karen’s arm in an attempt to make fun of her. I’m not sure why these kids would want to bully a senior citizen to tears, but I feel we should do something, or at least try.

She doesn’t earn nearly enough ($15,506) to deal with some of the trash she is surrounded by. Lets give her something she will never forget, a vacation of a lifetime!

Link to the school’s website: http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/athena-middle.cfm

Bus number: #784

School’s fax number: (585) 966-4039

Principal of the school’s E-mail address: David.Richardson@greece.k12.ny.us

Staff E-mails & Other Links:

http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/staff_directory.cfm
http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/contact.cfm?school=7
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Greeced=0CGoQ_AUoAg
http://pastebin.com/mMvJ4ZP8

Links to the videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oipwaZos58E&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l93wAqnPQwk&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBedTlo7BDs&feature=plcp

Karen’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kklein1944

************ UPDATE 11:00 am est 6/21:  This is Amanda (tammbg below).  I am Karen’s daughter and I just joined this campaign.  I have spoken with Max and with Indiegogo and we just want to thank you so much for your support.  I am at work now so can’t put a picture up yet.  We are completely overwhelmed with all the support, so thank you. *************

indiegogo karen huff bullied on a bus

Note how he names and shames the school even the bus number. Citizen Journalists do not pull punches the same way Traditional Journalists do!

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

27 thoughts on “Social Media Call To Action: Bullied on a Bus

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  14. Hi Laurel – totally agree with your comments about effectiveness – but I would be really interested to know if it actually affected any social change in terms of the school’s response, the bus company response and whether the kids have been ‘counselled’. That to my mind would make it a genuinely social success.

    1. Apparently they’ve had to hire guards to protect the little brats. Which is NOT the message we want to send our kids. Bullying them back just reinforces behaviour. I would say they are in crisis lockdown mode, so yes, short term some changes….

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  16. My only concern is that this now becomes a revenue opportunity model. Yes we show how social media can be a great source for the community to express their support through $ but a then start too see the setup scenarios that are successful until they become too frequent.

    I hate to be be cynical but just like BB1 was edgy and innovative it then became the domain of tryhards and over wrought marketing. So many of these social media based breakthroughs have a half life of about 10 iterations.

  17. Hi Laurel, Thanks for posting this hard-to-watch video.

    It’s interesting and rather sad to see some new gen’ers exhibiting behaviour that you might normally expect to be relegated to online trolling where anonymity largely protects and, some would say, encourages anti-social behaviour. Are we witnessing the advent of ‘trolling creep’? I hope not.

    I agree we need to discourage the normalisation of bullying whether online or ‘real’ world. Yep, it’s a shame the kids are being harrassed/bullied in return.

    – Lesley

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  24. It is so nice to see someone showing the power of an effective call to action in a way that is for the greater good. The right call to action can make a difference, even if it is the difference in just one person’s life, or bringing to attention a long standing problem.

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