A WHITE school bus driver has lost her job for telling a black 11-year-old boy “I don’t see a knee on your neck” when he said he was out of breath from running.
Rashad Gabriel told his mother Rose when he got off the school bus on April 9 that the female driver made the comment referencing the death of George Floyd after telling him to pull up his face mask.
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The 6th grade student had run to catch the bus to Trist Middle School in Louisiana that morning and his mask had slipped down his nose.
The boy was allegedly still upset by the comment when he returned home as Rose said he was not his “carefree self.”
“He said, 'Mom, the bus driver said something to me that was racist,’ ” she told WLTX.
Rashad recounted how the bus driver said: “Since George Floyd, that's what you all say, but I don't see a knee on your neck.”
Rose told WLTX she was initially taken aback and had the “chills” thinking of this comment being made to her son in the middle of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-cop now convicted with Floyd’s murder.
“I'm like, ‘Are you sure she said that?’” Rose said.
“He said, ‘Yeah, all the kids on the bus heard it.’ ”
“I just started crying. Because she….excuse me. Don't make him feel inferior. He's not inferior to nothing. He's equal to any of those students on that bus,” she continued.
“I get chills right now. It hurt me. It hurt me.”
The shocked mother reported the incident straight to the school on Monday after driving her son to school so he could avoid having to meet with the bus driver again.
Not only had other students on the bus heard the comment but it was also picked up on the bus’ onboard camera.
The driver immediately admitted that she made the comment and the matter was referred to School Superintendent Doris Voitier.
The woman is no longer employed by St. Bernard Parish but Voitier could not confirm if she was fired or had quit.
“She no longer works for our school system,” Voitier said.
“I can't defend that. I don't condone that. What she said is offensive and inappropriate. It was racially insensitive. And we took appropriate action.”
She added that she was especially sensitive to the bus driver’s comments with the Chauvin trial underway at the time.
Rose said she is relieved that the matter has been handled quickly.
“It made me relieved that I know she's no longer on the bus with my son or anybody else's child,” she said.
Chauvin was found guilty on Tuesday with two charges of murder and a charge of manslaughter for Floyd’s death.
The former Minneapolis police officer had been recorded kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds while arresting him over an alleged fake $20 bill.
His bail was revoked and he remains in custody until his sentencing in June.
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