“It’s completely unacceptable,” the mother said. “We think it was racially motivated. This is not the first time that we have complained about this bus driver harassing our children.
Carter told the Citizen of his concerns that the school system only fired O’Neil because the story went viral. “We feel like he was fired because the story got more coverage than the Morgan County charter school system would have liked,” she said. “Rumor was they were just going to send him off to be recycled.”
The recent encounter began on September 9 when the bus driver, a white man, told Carter’s 6-year-old son to sit in the back of the bus when normally children his age sit up front, the mother said. High school students are seated in the back, Carter said. It is unclear what prompted O’Neil to push the student. But when he did, the child cried and called out for his older sister, Carter said. She also accused school district transportation manager Alicia Lord of not taking the attack seriously.
“She said it was my son’s fault for calling his sister,” the mother said. “Of course he called his sister. This man was pushing him and he was scared. He is only 6 years old!
Morgan County is located approximately 60 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta. It has a population of over 20,000, of which over 75% are white and approximately 20% are black, according the latest figures from the US census.
The Morgan County School District did not respond to Daily Kos’ request for comment.
Pastor Lonnie Brown, president of the Morgan County NAACP, said in a statement that the citizen got the organization to continue ”fight for equality and eliminate discrimination based on race at all levels, from our youngest citizens to the oldest.
Brown called the recent incident an “injustice” “beyond words.”
“The NAACP cannot sit and not speak on this issue,” Brown said. “We cannot continue to allow children, especially our black and brown children, to be abused. If we don’t stand up for our children, who will?
Carter said Fox 5 Atlanta she pulled her children out of the school system. “I was stunned…the emotional damage it caused…my kids don’t want to go back to school…they don’t want to get back on the school bus,” Carter told the news channel.
She said she also drives school buses and never lays her hands on a child.
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