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First Student fires bus driver for using 'racist, inappropriate language'

first student school bus olathe.jpg
Posted at 4:50 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 23:47:27-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — First Student has fired a school bus driver in Kansas City following a video of the driver and a Congress Middle School student using "racist, inappropriate language."

On Tuesday, Congress Middle School Principal Chris Early sent a letter to families about the incident and said the Park Hill School District asked First Student to take the driver off of all district routes.

"We let First Student know that we do not want this driver to work on any routes for the Park Hill School District anymore, and we are following our policies in handing the student’s discipline," the letter said.

A spokesperson for First Student told KSHB 41 News Thursday that the company was "disturbed" by what they saw in the video.

"The interaction the driver had with students was inappropriate and insensitive," the spokesperson said. "We do not condone this language under any circumstances. The driver is no longer employed by First Student."

Nevertheless, parents were left stunned.

“I don't understand how it's 2021 and it's still going on," said Toussaint Turner, Park Hill School District parent. “This person is an adult, and they should know better.”

Early said a video from students shows the driver using racist language while talking to another student who used similar language.

Park Hill School District parents agree that education for kids needs to start at home

“I talk to my daughter about these situations all time, it comes down to what’s being said at home, not necessarily school," said Ashley Elmer, another parent.

Park Hill School District is reaching out to the students who were on the bus to offer support and get the whole story.

The district is also bringing in a culturally responsive crisis team "to support any students or staff who need help processing their feelings about this incident," according to the letter.

"We will be placing a staff member on the bus for the next few weeks to provide additional supervision and support," the letter said.