The mother of a 14-year-old biracial boy in Utah is suing a school district after a surveillance video showed a bus driver dragging her son after his backpack got stuck in the doors.
On Feb. 4, the unidentified student was exiting a school bus driven by John Naisbitt. The video shows several students getting off before the boy. Just as the student exits the bus, the driver closes the doors, catching the boy’s backpack straps, reported KSTU.
Even though there are other students waiting to disembark, the bus pulls off. Students looked panicked as the bus then drives for up to 175 feet with the student getting dragged by his backpack.
“I couldn’t even comprehend how it could happen,” the boy’s mother, Brenda Mayes, told KSTU.
Eventually, the bus stops and the student is freed.
“I was glad he didn’t kill him,” Mayes added. “I was glad he didn’t go under the wheel.”
Mayes has since filed a racial discrimination and assault lawsuit against the Davis School District and two transportation employees.
According to Mayes’ lawsuit, Naisbitt, 78, has a history of racially charged misconduct against children dating back to September 2017.
In the past, Naisbitt allegedly closed the bus doors on two other biracial boys, called students “stupid” and “idiots,” and did not intervene when a white girl was assaulting an Asian girl.
Mayes says the district didn’t take any action against Naisbitt, who she argues should have been removed from the route the day her child was assaulted.
“Something failed,” Mayes told KSTU. “They have a responsibility when I send [my kids] off to school, they have a responsibility to make sure they are safe."
Naisbitt retired before the district could fire him following the incident.
"Would you say you’re racist?” a KSTU reporter asked Naisbitt at his home.
“Not at all. No. Look at my dog. He’s as black as could be,” Naisbitt responded.
Naisbitt said he is not guilty of racial discrimination and claimed eight buses were lined up behind his when he warned the kids he was moving the bus forward. He argues the incident was staged after he disciplined the boy’s brother.
“I didn’t see him in there,” Naisbitt told KSTU. “If I had, I would have stopped.”
The Davis School District released a statement saying all issues of discrimination are thoroughly investigated.
“The Davis School District takes any claims of racial discrimination seriously and does not tolerate any form of racial discrimination in our schools,” the district said in a statement.
The lawsuit is asking for unspecified damages.