Monday, November 10, 2008
A controversy has erupted at a Mississippi junior high school over allegations that a bus driver and a coach threatened students with punishment for saying Barack Obama's name.
The incidents became public when outraged parents called the studios of WAPT news in Pearl, Miss. Some said their children were threatened by a bus driver with being written up and taken to the principal's office, others that their children were told by a girls' basketball coach they would be suspended.
Reginald Simpson, a student at Pearl Junior High, explained that when students on the bus started saying, "Obama is our president," the bus driver told them she didn't want to hear his name. One kid said, "This is history woman," and according to Simpson, "She pulled over and kicked me and the kid off the bus." They were left waiting at the high school and later taken to their own school.
"They feel like they afraid to say who our president is, cause they afraid they going to be in trouble," Reginald's mother Canishia told WAPT. "We teach our kids not to be racist, and here it is going on. I just feel hurt by it."
The Simpson family is black. However, another mother whose son was on the bus and who also plans to confront school officials about the incident is white. "This is what the whole election was about," Venus Neagu told WAPT. "It was supporting someone. And now that they've done it and they're on the school bus, now they're getting consequences for it."
School officials reviewed video from the bus and promised that no students would be punished. The superintendent released a statement saying, "It appears that some persons, out of disappointment and disillusionment with the election may have been so frustrated that they said something inappropriate to students. We have taken appropriate steps with the bus driver and the coach."
(Okay the flag above is a bit over the top propagada-wise, but I was pissed.)