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Everybody Move to the Back of the Bus

 
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Celaeno



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 3029
Location: Kzoo

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:50 am    Post subject: Everybody Move to the Back of the Bus Reply with quote

Associate Press wrote:
Bus driver suspended for alleged racism

COUSHATTA, Louisiana (AP) -- A Louisiana school district suspended a white bus driver while it investigates complaints that she ordered nine black children to sit at the back of the bus.

No previous complaints have been lodged against the driver, who has worked several years for the Red River Parish school district, school Superintendent Kay Easley said Thursday. She refused to reveal the driver's name.

"I'm trying to get all this straight, and settled, so we can all move on," Easley said.

Two mothers, both black, sparked the investigation with a complaint on Monday that their children and the other black children had been ordered to sit in two rows of seats in the rear of the bus. ( Watch the stunned reactions of parents and community leaders -- 2:13 )

"In all these years, I've never had a problem like this," said Janice Williams, whose four children ride public school buses.

One of her children, Jarvonica Williams, 16, said the bus driver allowed many white students to have seats all to themselves while some blacks were forced to stand or sit in others' laps.

Iva Richmond, whose 14- and 15-year-old children were on the bus, said Thursday that they previously had a black bus driver, but their bus assignment changed this year. When school started this month, the white driver told them she had assigned them seats, with the black children at the back of the bus.

Richmond said she complained to a local principal, who told the driver that if any children were assigned to seats, all would have to be.

Early last week, the driver assigned black students to two seats in the back of the bus, Richmond said.

"All nine children were assigned to two seats in the back of the bus and the older ones had to hold the smaller ones in their laps," she said.

The women said their complaints to parish school officials were not immediately addressed.

Easley said she wanted to settle the matter. She said the driver had been suspended without pay, and she would announce the results of the district's investigation at a school board meeting on Sept. 5.

NAACP District Vice President James Panell told The Times of Shreveport that he would give federal attorneys details of the situation this week.

Coushatta is a small farming town in northern Louisiana. The school district has about 1,600 students, Easley said.

I'm absolutely appalled that this sort of thing can happen in the twenty-first century but relieved that it was immediately met by general horror and disgust.
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Jinx



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 3615
Location: America, fuck yeah!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I hear stories like this, I have trouble believing them. Not in the holocaust denier sense of thinking they've been made up, but in the, "You've got to be kidding me. What was this person thinking?" way.

Seriously.

I just have trouble accepting, not that there are people who think this way, but that they think they could do something like this and get away with it.


What. The. Fuck?
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Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 7562

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jinx wrote:
When I hear stories like this, I have trouble believing them. Not in the holocaust denier sense of thinking they've been made up, but in the, "You've got to be kidding me. What was this person thinking?" way.

Seriously.


schoolbus drivers are a funny lot. yes, you have your responsible, caring, nose-breathing types -- but they are unfortunately too few and far between.

so many seem half awake and unaware, just coming down off their latest spike or jones, or are hungry little hitlers looking a hamlet to rule for several hours a day, or are bitter, retired, child-hating driving school instructors, timecard typists, infomercial telemarketers or mcdonald's managers (though these are not necessarily retired)...in fact, any in the latter 3 groups might well have been responsible, caring and breathing through their nose only a year earlier, but they've been driving a schoolbus since then.

i notice that the mother of two of the black students complained about the assigned seating.

i bet someone told the moron that "some black woman complained to the school princpal about your assigned seating and he said..."

and he was thinking, "I'LL show THEM... I'll show them ALLLLLLLLL."
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 12067
Location: Unknown Kaddath

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not entirely convinced this happened. I mean, it's just too perfectly unbelievable. You'd think some racists would be at least unstupid enough not to start up the very thing that got the anti-segregation precedent and Civil Rights movement going in earnest.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 10592
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know... I saw some stuff when I lived in the south that I'd find hard to believe if I hadn't been there. When you combine racism, a general lack of education, low wages... people just do dumb things. Ignorant things.
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Desire



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I've seen too much prejudice (and this state isn't south at all) that I can believe it might happen. :\
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Omega F



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. When I read things like this, I take them with a grain of salt until all the facts are in. I remember being in junior high and in the bus, and if someone were to take a snap-shot image at certain times, things would look pretty bad. Those kids could have all been the trouble makers, and the bus driver wanted them far enough away from her that it didn't affect her driving. The kids got pissed off and told their parents that the driver was racist, because they all happened to be black. Then after that, the parents would have a field day.


I don't know how the ethnic diversity is in a small farming town in northern Lousisana, but assuming that there are only black and white, it isn't too far-fetched to think that one race group would be the troublemakers. I remember kids generally hung out with their race (there were notable exceptions). Also, there tended to be one trouble-maker group. It stands that there was a 50% chance then that the troublemakers would be either all black, and 50% that they were all white.

I'm not saying that this act wasn't racist, but I don't like to make decisions until the facts are all in.

edit: I meant I agree with WoC that I wasn't convinced. 2 people posted in the time I was writing.
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Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 7562

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Omega F wrote:
I agree. When I read things like this, I take them with a grain of salt until all the facts are in. I remember being in junior high and in the bus, and if someone were to take a snap-shot image at certain times, things would look pretty bad. Those kids could have all been the trouble makers, and the bus driver wanted them far enough away from her that it didn't affect her driving.


passenger safety first - regardless of the driver not being able to control the passengers in this scenrio, i bet overcrowding seats to the point of 'lap-sitting' is a safety violation.

certainly poor judgement in the dangerous extreme, at the least
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Desire



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 566
Location: AK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to mention that nowadays it enters a grey area that could have a sexual harassment spin put on it.



In High School I always wanted to sit on the back of the bus because that's where I could smoke and the bus driver couldn't see me. In my school, it was pretty much all the bad (or cool, depending on who you asked) kids who sat in the back. Punishment was having to sit in the front near the driver. lol
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Lasairfiona



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is quite possible it happened just the way the kids were saying but a bit of skepticism is creeping in. If it did happen that way, I hope that the bus driver is properly punished (ie fired). I will be very happy on the day that something like this is totally unbelievable.
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