A bus driver in New Orleans is out of a job for making racially insensitive comments to a Black child in Louisiana. WWL-TV reported that Rose Gabriel did not let something her son revealed to her pass by. She informed the school system last week that a George Floyd-related comment was made to her 11-year-old son, Rashad.
According to the news station, Rashad informed Gabriel that the bus driver, who is white, scolded him after his face mask slipped below the sixth grader’s nose. Rashad reportedly commented that he was out of breath, due to running to catch the bus to Trist Middle School that morning.
“Gabriel recounted what the driver said: ‘Since George Floyd, that’s what you all say, but I don’t see a knee on your neck,’” according to WWL-TV’s news report.
In the story, it was also stated that other bus riders heard the bus driver’s George Floyd comment that was also capture by the school bus’s onboard camera. During the interview, Gabriel also stated that she struggled to address her son’s bewilderment.
“I just started crying. Because she….excuse me. Don’t make him feel inferior. He’s not inferior to nothing. He’s equal to any of those students on that bus,” Gabriel said, according to WWL-TV.
The news station said that Gabriel drove her son to school the following Monday, then reported the school bus driver’s comment. However, the driver did admit to making the comment. The issue reached School Superintendent Doris Voitier’s desk.
St. Bernard Parish School District’s website mentions that Voitier was appointed to serve as Superintendent of the St. Bernard Parish Public Schools on August 10, 2004. According to the information provided, she represents St. Bernard Parish School’s students, in addition to the state of Louisiana as a board member of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), which is the administrative body for all Louisiana public elementary and secondary schools.
According to WWL-TV, it was confirmed in a telephone interview that the school bus driver no longer works for the school system as Voitier took swift action. She reportedly informed WWL-TV that the school bus driver’s departure is a personnel matter, so it was not confirmed if the driver resigned or was fired.