School bus driver caught on camera using “racist and inappropriate language” as she drove a bus full of children, according to the principal of a Kansas City college in the Park Hill School District, the same district where the students created a petition to restore slavery in September.
Chris Early, principal of Congress Middle School in Missouri, informed parents of the incident on Monday after the video, presumably taken by one of the students on the school bus, shows the unidentified bus driver using a derogatory term for black people repeatedly in the 38-second clip.
âIn the video the families shared with us, the bus driver used racist and inappropriate language when responding to a student who used similar language,â the principal wrote in a letter to parents of students, which was obtained on Tuesday by the Kansas City Star.
Early said the company that manages and employs the school district’s bus drivers had also been made aware of the incident, adding that school administrators learned of the video after it was released. shared by parents of students enrolled in college.
In the video, the driver appeared to berate a student on the bus for using the same racist language while repeating the student’s words.
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Pictured: A screenshot of video taken by one of the Congress Middle School students on the school bus, who captured the bus driver using racist language
The bus driver, partially pictured in the yellow jacket, could be heard repeatedly using a derogatory term for black people as she scolded a student on the bus
Congress Middle School in Missouri, pictured, where a school bus driver was filmed using “racist and inappropriate language” in front of children on Monday
A school staff member will also accompany students on the bus over the next few weeks with the aim of providing more supervision on school bus routes.
Pictured: Congress Middle School principal Chris Early informed parents this week of the incident after the video shows the unidentified bus driver using racist language
Early said the school district is also considering disciplining this student in accordance with district policies.
The school district has since informed the bus company, First Student, that “we no longer want this driver to work on routes for the Park Hill School District.”
The school principal added that a âculturally appropriate crisis teamâ is currently employed by the district to provide support to students and staff.
A school staff member will also accompany students on the bus for the next few weeks in an effort to provide more supervision on school bus routes, the Star reported.
Early also thanked the parents and family members who shared the video “so we can respond appropriately to make sure our buses are safe for all of our students.”
The school and district are located in one of the most diverse districts in the state, according to Public school notices.
Minority enrollment in the school district represents 31 percent of the student body (predominantly black and Hispanic), which is higher than the Missouri public school average of 29 percent (predominantly black).
For the 2021-2022 school year, there are 18 public schools serving 11,878 students in the Park Hill School District.
In September, four freshmen from Park Hill South, in the same school district as Congress Middle School, circulated an online petition to their high school asking to “bring back slavery.”
The parents of the four students, one of whom was expelled while the other three were suspended for 180 days, are now suing the Missouri school district for “punishing them too harshly”, according to a federal lawsuit filed last month.
It was uploaded in September by students at LEAD Innovation Studio, which is part of Park Hill.
Pictured: Park Hill South High School, where four students were expelled and suspended after creating a ‘joke’ petition to bring back slavery
The lawsuit claims the racist petition, created by a student who titled it “recommencing slavery” before posting it on Changer.org, was created as a joke about slavery and the need for a job, according to legal documents.
Three other students who were punished commented âI love slaveryâ, âI hate black peopleâ and âI want a slave. “
The four students who were punished for the petition, who all played for the school’s football team, are described as having diverse ethnic origins; one is black and Brazilian, two are white and another student is white and Asian, according to the lawsuit.
A fifth student, who is black, was also involved but not disciplined.
âThe racial identity of students is kind of across the spectrum. When you talk to the four kids, the extent of their experience with racial terror in America was Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks mission during Black History Month, âsaid diversity consultant Nicole Price , according to Fox 2 Now. She was hired by the parents of the suspended students as a counselor.
She said in defense of the students that the harsh punishment “could change the course” of their lives.
A 15-year-old black student at LEAD Innovation who heard an announcement about the school sound system following its discovery became “really upset,” said her adoptive mother, Julie Stutterheim.