NBC News

TODAY   |  June 22, 2012

Students apologize to bullied bus monitor

Three of the four boys who were taped tormenting a school bus monitor have apologized for their behavior in statements released through police. NBC’s Craig Melvin reports from Rochester, N.Y.

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>> video that knaussiated a lot of us, middle school boys brutally taunting an elderly monitor on their school bus . now some of the bullies are saying i'm sorry. nbc's craig melvin in rochester, new york, with more on this. craig , good morning to you.

>> reporter: matt, good morning to you as well it has been a whirlwind of a week for her and the boys that harassed her on the bus behind me. crime has gone from victim to spokesperson for civility. the boys have gone from disgustingly mean to, as you mentioned, saying i'm sorry.

>> you don't have a family --

>> reporter: when they were done taunting, cursing and threatening karen klein , one of them online posted it online. more than 2 million have watched the 13 years old bully their 68-year-old bus monitor. now, three of the four boys and their parents are apologizing. in statements released through police, one student writes, "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 will never treat anyone this way again. a parent says, quote, i would like it if he could do some work for you or help you in some way. i'm embarrassed, angry and sad about the awful way he treated you. the same video that's triggered so much anger and disbelief has sparked nearly as much compassion and generosity.

>> i saw what those kids did to you and it nearly had me in tears. i want you to know how many people are here for you.

>> reporter: letters, calls, and flowers have poured in. some of the support is emotional but much of it has been financial.

>> never have we seen a campaign raise this much money this quickly in less than 36 hours .

>> reporter: more than 21,000 strangers have logged onto indiegogo, a website to raise money for different causes they raised $140,000 to go on a dream vacation and hopefully retire. at a news conference school officials said they were investigating, while they wouldn't give specific promises, strong disciplinary action. police say bullies are being harassed.

>> their families, brothers and sisters threatened.

>> criminal charges unlikely, partly because klein doesn't want to prosecute. she wants a private meeting inside.

>> i want to find out they really realize how serious it is and why. i want to know why they had to do that, why they don't respect elders.

>> reporter: now, karen klein says she also doesn't want to see those boys expelled or suspended but would like to see them banned from riding the school bus for at least a year and also not allowed to participate in team sports . matt.

>> craig melvin in rochester, new york, this morning. craig , thank you very much. let's hope this is a story that has been talked about in a lot of households this week and will continue to be talked about this coming