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Comal School District Fires Bus Driver Accused Of Segregating Students By Race

Pixabay CC0 http://bit.ly/2n0vH0h
Pixabay CC0 http://bit.ly/2n0vH0h

The Comal Independent School District north of San Antonio has fired one of its bus drivers following an investigation into why she assigned Black and Latino middle school students to seats at the front of the bus.

The driver was placed on leave last week, after parents complained to the district.

According to Comal spokesman Steve Stanford, the bus driver said she assigned the seats based on behavior, not race. But after speaking with everyone involved, the district discovered that some of the punished students hadn’t misbehaved.

“We have terminated her employment based on a demonstrated lack of due diligence and professional judgment when instituting discipline on the bus,” Stanford said. “Because she didn't really do her due diligence in investigating the behavior of the students … it resulted in her disciplining students that had not been guilty of misconduct.”

Stanford said the students were assigned seats on Monday, Feb. 24, after an incident the prior Thursday on the way to Danford Middle School.

“Somebody was making a shrill noise and then another kid would do it, and then you know when she asked them to stop it was — everybody was kind of, like, doing it,” Stanford said. “Part of it was the fact that she had asked them to stop, and they got louder instead.”

Stanford said he couldn’t say why the driver punished students who weren’t involved or answer any other questions about the investigation because it’s a personnel matter.

He said the driver had worked for Comal ISD for four years, and she had no prior complaints.

Camille Phillips can be reached at Camille@tpr.org or on Twitter at @cmpcamille.

Camille Phillips can be reached at Camille@TPR.org and on Twitter at @cmpcamille. TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.