A Utah mother is suing a former bus driver, after accusing him of racism for allegedly closing the bus doors on her biracial son’s backpack and intentionally dragging him 150 feet.
In her civil rights lawsuit, Brenda Mayes says that her 14-year-old son was exiting the bus in February, when John Naisbitt, the driver closed the doors on the boy’s backpack and started driving. According to KTLA, she blames the 78-year-old Naisbitt’s “racial animus” towards mixed-race children as his motive for dragging her son 150 feet before opening the doors again.
The incident was caught on the bus cameras.
The lawsuit says that Naisbitt had previously displayed “racial animus and discriminatory conduct” toward other students of mixed race, citing two previous incidents involving other students dating back to September 2017.
The lawsuit also names the Davis School District and its transportation director, Dave Roberts, who Mayes said ignored her concerns. The suit requests that disciplinary action be taken against Naisbitt and that criminal charges be filed.
The former bus driver, who retired days after the incident, says he is not racist.
“No,” he told CNN affiliate KSTU. “Look at my dog. He’s as black as could be.”
The lawsuit claims that had the Davis School District intervened after earlier incidents, Mayes’ son would not have been dragged by the bus.
”As a result,“ the lawsuit says, ”his abusive and assaultive behavior on mixed-race children continued, with the tacit approval“ of district administrators, including Roberts.”
Davis School District spokeswoman Shauna Lund told CNN in a statement Friday morning that they take racist incidents seriously.
”When issues of discrimination are raised at any time, they are investigated thoroughly,” she said. “The Davis School District takes any claims of racial discrimination seriously and does not tolerate any form of racial discrimination in our schools.“