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Father apologizes to bullied bus monitor

June 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM   |   Comments

GREECE, N.Y., June 21 (UPI) -- The father of a boy who taunted a New York bus monitor has apologized for the incident on his son's behalf.

In an interview with Inside Edition Thursday, Robert Helm, whose son, Wesley, was part a group of young boys who were caught on video bullying bus monitor Karen Klein, said he was sorry for the incident.

"I would say I'm sorry. This is not the way I raised my kids. I never would in my wildest dreams think they were capable of this," Helm said.

Helm also said he plans to get professional help for his son.

"It's not just going to stop at you're grounded, you don't get to watch TV. This is much bigger than that. We need to get professional help to get to the bottom of the issue of the bullying, of what caused him to treat anybody this way," Helm said.

The 10-minute video of the incident shows Klein on the receiving end of profane jeers by students on a Greece Athena Middle School bus Monday, The (Rochester) Democrat and Chronicle reported Thursday.

"I was trying to just ignore them, hoping they would go away and it doesn't work," Klein said of the incident. "Trust me, they didn't go away.

"The kids weren't always that bad."

Klein said she never felt threatened by the students and had not planned to bring the incident up to school officials until the video -- captured by a student on the bus -- went viral on YouTube and Facebook.

"This behavior is inexcusable and a clear violation of our code of conduct," said Greece Central School District Assistant Superintendent Deborah Hoeft.

Max Sidorov, 25, of Toronto set up the online fundraiser Wednesday to help send Klein on a vacation, raising more than $118,000 in one day.

"It is just huge," he said. "I thought it would get a few thousand dollars, maybe. But maybe she could retire on this."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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