School Bus Driver With History Of Racism Traps Biracial Student In Bus Door And Proceeds To Drive The Vehicle
Bus driver John Naisbitt has a history of racism with other black students and retired when one mother filed a lawsuit over his conduct.
May 10, 2019 at 1:18 pm
A school bus driver in Utah closed the door on a Black seventh grader, trapping his backpack inside the bus while the child dangled outside for 175 feet.
Brenda Mayes, the child's mother, said her 14-year-old son called her in tears after the incident in February, saying he feared that if he pulled on his backpack at all, it would break and he would be crushed under the bus' wheel.
“When my son called me that morning, he was shaky and was on the verge of tears. I was in disbelief. I couldn’t even comprehend how it could happen,” she told the Salt Lake Tribune.
“He should be able to just get on the bus and go to school and have a regular day.”
The bus driver, John Naisbitt, has a lengthy history of making racially-charged remarks to kids he drives to schools in the Davis School District and had repeatedly picked on Mayes' son before the incident.
Before an investigation could be done, Naisbitt retired three days after the incident. When Fox 13 caught up with him and asked him whether he was a racist, he said, "Not at all."
“No. Look at my dog," he said. "He’s as black as could be."
Mayes is now suing the school district, filing a civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of her son.
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In an emailed statement to the Salt Lake Tribune, a spokeswoman for the school said, "When issues of discrimination are raised at any time, they are investigated thoroughly. We take any claims of racial discrimination seriously and do not tolerate any form of racial discrimination in our schools.”
They would not say whether Naisbitt quit or was fired, only mentioning that he no longer worked for the district.
Naisbitt defended himself by saying there were other buses behind him and he had to move. But the school district gave Mayes a video of the incident from the bus, where you can clearly see Naisbitt wait until the boy makes it halfway out the door before shutting it quickly on his backpack. Other kids are seen screaming and asking the driver to stop the bus but he continued for 150 feet.
Family lawyer Robert Sykes said plainly that Naisbitt's actions were motivated by racism.
“All of this was based upon race. It was racial discrimination," he said. "It was racial assault. And the district did nothing.”
Mayes said Naisbitt had a history of racist incidents dating back to 2017, when he reprimanded her son for stopping an attack by a group of white students on another Black child.
Other parents of Black children have complained about his conduct before, telling the Salt Lake Tribune that he would frequently berate Black students who rode his buses. Mayes said that in October, Naisbitt shut the door on another biracial student who was friends with her son.
To add insult to injury, when Mayes told the school about what happened and asked that Naisbitt be removed, the school told her no and that he would be driving her son home that day.
The school did everything in their power to stop her from filing a lawsuit and action was only taken when she reported it to the county sheriff's office.
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