A Utah mom is suing a former bus driver for his “racial animus” towards mixed-race students. And you’ll never guess why the bus driver says he’s not racist.
Brenda Mayes has filed a civil rights lawsuit against 78-year-old John Naisbitt after Naisbitt closed the school bus doors on her 14-year-old biracial son and proceeded to drag him for approximately 150-175 feet.
The February incident was caught on the bus camera. Mayes’ son—identified as Child Doe in the lawsuit—is seen exiting the school bus and Naisbitt closes the doors on Doe’s backpack. Naisbitt drives off between 7 and 10 miles per hour for 17 seconds as Doe is dangling outside.
“Had the straps on child Does’ backpack broken,” the lawsuit states, “Doe would have dropped to the pavement and could have been run over and killed by the bus or could have sustained serious injuries by the fall onto the concrete.”
“I couldn’t even comprehend how it could happen,” Mayes told FOX13. “I was glad he didn’t kill him. I was glad he didn’t go under the wheel.”
When asked if he was racist by FOX13, Naisbitt had an incredibly ignorant and ridiculous response:
“Not at all. No. Look at my dog. He”s as black as could be.”
“I didn’t see him in there,” Naisbitt continued, even though video footage shows a line of students also waiting to get off the bus. “If I had, I would have stopped.”
Naisbitt says he believes the 14-year-old “staged” the incident after he disciplined the boy’s brother.
However, according to the lawsuit, this is not the first time Naisbitt has been accused of racial bias.
In 2017, Naisbitt failed to stop a white boy from assaulting an Asian girl. Mayes alleges that her son had to “stop the assault.”
And in 2018, Naisbitt “intentionally closed the doors” on a mixed-race boy entering the bus. After releasing the boy, he attempted to do the same thing to another mixed-race boy who was directly behind the first student.
Naisbitt “denied even knowing” the first boy after being confronted by the child’s father. The lawsuit also alleges Naisbitt parked outside of the father’s place of employment to “intimidate” or “retaliate” after the parent reported him.
Mayes says the Davis School District failed to address the previous incidents and did not take proper action after her son was dragged by the bus driver. She is also suing the school district and its transportation director, Dave Roberts.
“Something failed,” Mayes said. “They have a responsibility when I send [my kids] off to school, they have a responsibility to make sure they are safe.”
Davis School District spokeswoman Shauna Lund says the district does not tolerate discrimination. She said in a statement:
“When issues of discrimination are raised at any time, they are investigated thoroughly. The Davis School District takes any claims of racial discrimination seriously and does not tolerate any form of racial discrimination in our schools.”
Mayes is seeking criminal charges against Naisbitt and unspecified damages for her son.
Naisbitt retired three days after the incident involving Child Doe, before being fired or facing any disciplinary action by the school district.