Mad Money

What Could Bullied Karen Huff Klein Do Now? How to Blow $500,000

An Internet fund raised more than $500,000 for the school bus monitor who was horrifically harassed. How could she go crazy with that money? The Daily Beast has a few suggestions.

06.23.12 4:00 AM ET

Karen Huff Klein was simply trying to do her job as a bus monitor this week when the hyperactive and, frankly, cruel children she was keeping an eye on began harassing her. They called her fat, teased her for being sweaty, threatened to shove Twinkies up her behind and vandalize her house, and even encouraged her to commit suicide—really, really mean stuff! So vile, in fact, that the worst of it shouldn’t even be re-printed here, but do watch the video if you want to be horrified by America’s youth. 

Someone unfortunate enough to be on that bus captured the bullying on tape and, naturally, it went viral. But then something remarkable happened. A fund was created on the Kickstarter-style site IndieGoGo and by Thursday afternoon $300,000 had been raised for Klein. Now the pot has hit more than $500,000, practically enough for Klein to retire on comfortably and never have to see those brats again. But it’s not enough. The money is nice, but she wants those kids punished—and who can blame her?

Let’s imagine for a minute, though, that Karen Klein has more lavish ambitions than to retire peacefully and see a few of those kids get walloped (or at least suspended). If Klein were to blow her $500,000 on something completely ridiculous and unnecessary, what would it be?

A fleet of school buses would cost around $500,000. But why would Klein ever want to see another school bus again? Maybe to fill them with all of the world’s most obnoxious young bullies and have them driven far, far away…

—Or she could show those kids who’s greasy and shack up at the $52,000-a-night Royal Villa at the Grand Resort Lagonissi in Greece.

—She could be totally irresponsible and just buy a ton of Facebook stock.

—Or be really responsible and donate to an anti-bullying campaign.

—She could pull a Michelle Obama and take a $467,585 trip to Spain and still have some money to blow on a side voyage to Italy or France before returning home to work.

—But who wants to travel in style throughout Europe when they could spend $500,000 on hookers and drugs over a six-month period? Charlie Sheen, for one, but this grandmother of eight? Well, money makes people do crazy things, right?

—Klein could easily rid herself of all that money in just one week on Sir Richard Branson’s private island in the Caribbean, where the going rate for “accommodations, all meals and drinks, high-quality wines and champagnes” as well as being doted on by “a team of 60 fabulous staff,” starts at around $53,000 per night.

—Really, though, why would Klein spend it all just to stay on someone else’s island when she could rent a yacht of her own and tour the Mediterranean. Actually, this sounds like the most realistic and—relatively—responsible option for what to do with her money other than, you know, saving it. After what she’s been through, that lady could sure use a vacation.