Following a racist confrontation between a bus driver and an eighth-grader that is online for all the world to see, a bus company fired the offending employee.
The Northside Bus Company in Jerome, Idaho, fired school bus driver Mary Black after a clip showing her pour water all over a Latino student while demanding he speak in English, went viral on the internet.
The incident occurred after Black accused student Miguel Martinez of throwing a water bottle at her and got out of her seat to deal with him. She also blamed freshman Brayan Alverez, who recorded the video, for instigating Martinez.
Both students denied the allegations. However, when Martinez attempted to talk to her, the driver went on a racist rant about speaking English.
“I don’t understand Spanish. I’m not going to learn it. I live in America and it’s an English-speaking country,” Black yelled at him. “So if you want to speak to me, speak to me in English.”
Moments before she allegedly poured water on him, she also told the Spanish-speaking student she would not want to touch him because she did not want to get any of his “cooties.”
“She tried to take his phone away and when she didn’t get to do that, she just grabbed the water bottle and started getting him wet,” Alverez recalled.
Juan Espino, father of another student who rides the same bus, was the first to post this video on social media. He also told local news this is not the first time the driver has said something like this.
“[My son] told me he was told by the bus driver that it was not allowed to speak in Spanish while riding the bus,” Espino said, adding he contacted the Northside Bus Company about the situation.
The business said there was no evidence to support his claims against Black.
“When I talked to one of the other kids, he told me that when that took place the driver would turn, when something like that happened, the driver would turn the cameras off,” the father explained. As soon as he got his hands on Black’s footage, he sent it to the company as proof. “It’s not something that we wish for, and not something that I would want to, but there will be consequences in everything that you do in life will be consequences.”
The video sparked outrage on social media, with some calling the school bus driver racist while others condemning Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for spreading bias against minorities.
Trump's America: School bus driver fired after pouring water on Latino student and telling him to speak English. https://t.co/7wv2Ec8ywo— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) September 4, 2016
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Eric Thayer