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Perrysburg Schools bus driver resigns after racist comment

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 3:24 PM EDT
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PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) - A Perrysburg Schools employee who was originally on paid leave resigned Tuesday amid an investigation of a racist comment to students.

According to a spokesperson with Perrysburg Schools, two students reported a racist comment by a bus driver to school officials on Friday.

In a video taken on the bus and provided to 13abc, a man can be heard asking someone off-camera, “You’re from Mexico?” After a student responds in the affirmative, the man replies, “Then shouldn’t you be in a cage somewhere in Texas?” A student can then be heard in the video calling the statement racist.

Perrysburg Schools said it cannot comment on the investigation into the incident as it is ongoing but called it a serious offense that could result in disciplinary action, including possible termination for the bus driver.

“There is no excuse for any employee to make hurtful or degrading comments,” a statement from the school district read.

Tom Hosler, Superintendent for Perrysburg Schools, said the community works to create an environment that is welcoming for students but in this case, those efforts fell short.

“We commend the students who reported the information that led to this investigation. They are embodying the Jacket Way, by demonstrating that they are respectful, responsible, and ready,” said Hosler. “Our hearts are saddened knowing that these words hurt this student and others.”

A grandmother of one of the students in the video said the driver came back to talk to them when a girl took his assigned seat.

“When they say that to a child, you take their childhood away,” she said.

She asked that we not reveal her identity.

She told 13abc two other students who were on the bus reported the incident to school officials.

“It was really refreshing that children spoke up when an adult was in the wrong,” she said. “I thought that was admirable of those kids to do that.”

She hopes the district will discipline the driver, but worries it will just reassign him to another bus route. She also said her daughter is planning to build a house in Perrysburg, but now, it’s possible the family will reevaluate their options.

“Is this the community you want your children and grandchildren growing up in?” she said.

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