'Racist' bus driver shuts door on mixed race teen and drags him down the street
Surveillance footage from a school bus in Utah has shown a driver close the door on a mixed-race teenager while he was trying to leave the vehicle in what many are referring to as an intentional act of discrimination.
The driver's action resulted in the 14-year-old student being dragged by the moving bus for about 175 feet, with his backpack still trapped inside.
Take a look at footage capturing the moment the bus driver trapped the boy in the door, before immediately driving off:
The incident took place earlier this year in February in front of West Point Junior High School in Davis County, Utah.
The seventh-grader - whose name has not been released - was being taken to his school along with his peers, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
When the bus pulls into the school's driveway shortly before 8 am, the boy is seen following his classmates out of the bus.
However, when the boy gets to the last step, John Naisbitt - the driver - apparently places his hand on the lever used to close the door, causing the door to shut and the boy to dangle outside dangerously close to the bus' front right tyre, according to KUTV-TV.
The students tell the driver to stop, but he continues for about 20 seconds.
When the boy's bother, Brenda Mayes, learned of the ordeal, she filed a lawsuit against the school district and the driver. The damages being demanded have not been specified.
Mayes believes Naisbitt's behaviour was a clear instance of racial discrimination and claims that the school district did not punish the driver despite previous complaints about his conduct.
Naisbitt has reportedly closed his school bus door on two other mixed raced boys. The lawsuit also alleges that Naisbitt called students 'stupid and idiots' and apparently did not stop a white girl assaulting a younger Asian girl.
"I couldn’t even comprehend how it could happen," Mayes told reporters in Utah on Tuesday during a news conference at her lawyer’s office. "I was blown away. I was angry. I was glad he didn’t kill him... I was glad he didn’t go under the wheel."
"The driver knew what he was doing," the boy’s mother said before adding, ‘"Something failed."
"They have a responsibility when I send [my kids] off to school, they have a responsibility to make sure they are safe."
The driver insists he was not being racist, telling KSTU-TV: "Look at my dog. He’s as black as could be."
He also told the TV station that the reason for his driving off so suddenly was due to the eight other buses waiting behind his.
Naisbitt believes the lawsuit is an attempt by the family to punish him for disciplining the boy's brother.
"I didn’t see him in there," Naisbitt said. "If I had, I would have stopped."
In a statement, the school district said: "The Davis School District takes any claims of racial discrimination seriously and does not tolerate any form of racial discrimination in our schools."
Naisbitt has since retired from his job as a bus driver.