Schools are expected to be a safe space for learning and sharing, but for some students, school environments can be prove to be uncomfortable or even toxic. Two days after the general election in which Donald Trump was elected, a bus driver in upstate New York conducted a rather misinformed social experiment on the children she was driving.
An elementary school bus driver in Canandaigua is under fire from parents for favoring children who would have voted for Trump, CBS News reported.
According to officials of the Canandaigua City School District, the bus driver in question held a mock election among the kindergarten through fifth grade students who were aboard her school bus. After determining the results of the “election” by a show of hands, the driver then allowed the students who raised their hands for Trump off the bus first.
Those who showed support for Hillary Clinton had to remain seated until the Trump “voters” exited from the bus. Needless to say, parents complained to the city school district after their kids told them about what happened.
An outraged parent of three students involved, Alaina Olivieri, reportedly said, “Just like I do every night, we talked about how the day went, and given the emotional nature of the day, I asked if there was discussion of the election… That’s when they brought up what happened on the bus.”
Olivieri continued to explain why she was disappointed in the driver, but stressed that she did not wish for her to lose her job over the mishap. She said, “When I send my kids to school on the bus, I assume they are in a safe environment and with teachers, coaches, and drivers that are going to treat them with respect… I feel that didn’t happen that morning.”
A CBS affiliate in Rochester reported that the upstate bus driver has been requested by district officials to write a letter of apology to the affected children and their parents. Meanwhile, the school has issued a statement iterating their values after the incident.
The driver is being scolded for her lack of sensitivity and for conducting such a misled social experiment on young people. The election cycle has already been enough of a doozy. To punish and reward children for who they support politically, which likely mirrors their parents’ biases, is ridiculously unfair.
Banner photo credit: Reuters