Student says he felt discriminated against by school bus driver - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Student says he felt discriminated against by school bus driver

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A Plainville student says he felt discriminated against by his school bus driver (WFSB) A Plainville student says he felt discriminated against by his school bus driver (WFSB)
PLAINVILLE, CT (WFSB) -

A local school district is investigating alleged racial tensions reported on a school bus.

The alleged incident happened between a bus driver and a 12-year-old student, who claims he was singled out because of the color of his skin.

Middle school student Daijon Taft said he experienced the alleged discrimination on his ride home from school on Monday afternoon.

“I stood up for a second to move a bag and stretch my legs because I have a knee problem and I did that and she's like 'sit down, I know what you're trying to do’,” Taft said.

He said the bus rides home can get rowdy, but he wasn’t the only one standing at that time.

He said he wanted an explanation.

“I was like, 'what am I trying to do?' and I asked, ‘is it because I’m black?' and she said 'that's exactly what it is, it's because you're black’,” Taft said.

It should be noted that the tone of the driver's alleged response remains unclear, but either way, the student said he didn't like it. He says he felt singled out.

“To get blamed because of your skin color is crazy,” Taft said.

Multiple children witnessed the exchange and it was another family, not the Tafts, who reported the incident to the school district.

Explaining why the complaint didn't come from her, Taft's mother says she felt she handled the situation at home. 

“It's not easy, my mom told me to stick up for yourself. If someone wants to discriminate that's a hard life for them,” Taft said.

Meanwhile DATTCO is looking into this as well.

COO Cliff Gibson shed some light, describing the bus so rowdy, that the driver had to pull over to get everyone to sit down. After her shift, Gibson says the driver came to them to report the incident first.

The company said “We are working jointly with the Plainville Public Schools to investigate this matter, and will take whatever actions are deemed appropriate to promote safety on the buses."

“I just want a better bus driver who doesn't have problems with people of a different skin color,” Taft said.

In the meantime, the driver is off Taft's route, but is still on the job.

The bus company is still sorting through the allegations and the school says they will take appropriate action once its investigation is complete.

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