According to a CNN report, Brenda Mayes, a Utah mother, is suing a former driver for dragging her son from a bus approximately 150 feet. The lawsuit cites the driver’s “racial animus” and intent to harm.
Mayes’ civil rights lawsuit says the incident took place in early February. Her son, a 14-year old referred to as “Child Doe,” was getting off the school bus when the driver, 78-year old John Naisbitt, closed the doors although clearly there was still a line of children waiting to step off of the bus. The closed door trapped the boy’s backpack inside as his body dangled outside. Naisbitt then drove for approximately 17 seconds, with the children still standing in the aisle witnessing the entire terrifying scene. It is unclear if the students said anything to the driver as the camera footage has no sound. Naisbitt continued to drag Child Doe, moving between 7 and 10 miles per hour, approximately 150 to 175 feet before opening the doors and freeing him. The disturbing security camera footage can be seen below:
When Naisbitt was contacted by CNN affiliate KSTU at his home in Hooper, Utah, he claimed the boy staged entire the incident because Naisbitt had disciplined the boy’s brother earlier.
“I didn’t see him in there,” Naisbitt claimed. “If I had, I would have stopped.”
Naisbitt insists he is “not at all” racist. He followed this claim with one of the most thinly veiled, smug forms of racism ever spoken.
“No,” he said. “Look at my dog. He’s as black as could be.” He then let laughed.
Naisbitt told KSTU he retired several days after the incident, and CNN confirmed through a district spokesperson that they no longer employ him.
The lawsuit against Naisbitt also names the Davis School District and its transportation director, Dave Roberts, who was said to have ignored Brenda Mayes’ alarming concerns. Per CNN’s reporting, the suit requests that disciplinary action be taken against Naisbitt and that criminal charges be filed.
Apparently this isn’t the first time Naisbitt has acted on his racism in disturbingly harmful ways. He’s said to have “racial animus and discriminatory conduct” toward other students of mixed race. The lawsuit lists multiple prior incidents involving other mixed-race students within the past two years.
In September 2017, the suit says, “Naisbitt took no action when a Caucasian sixth grade boy physically assaulted a third grade biracial girl on the bus.” Mayes’ son had to “stop the assault.”
The incident was reported to the transportation department, the lawsuit says, which was overseen by Dave Roberts.
In October 2018, as two mixed-race boys were getting on the bus after school, “Naisbitt intentionally closed the doors” on one of them. After finally releasing the first student, the lawsuit says, Naisbitt again tried to close the doors on the second.
The first student’s parents reported the incident to Roberts, the lawsuit says. When the student’s father confronted Naisbitt the next morning, the bus driver “denied even knowing” the boy.
After the father again reported the incident to the school’s principal and Roberts, Naisbitt turned up in the bus at the father’s place of employment and parked outside, in what the lawsuit calls “a clear attempt to retaliate” against the student by “intimidating or harassing” his father.
Asked by CNN whether any action was taken against Naisbitt in regard to the previous incidents outlined in the lawsuit, the Davis School District declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit.
Davis School District spokeswoman Shauna Lund told CNN in a statement Friday morning, “When issues of discrimination are raised at any time, they are investigated thoroughly. The Davis School District takes any claims of racial discrimination seriously and does not tolerate any form of racial discrimination in our schools.”
The lawsuit claims that had the Davis School District intervened during earlier incidents that were brought to their attention, Mayes’ son would not have been dragged by the Naisbitt’s bus in February. Because the school was complicit and “ignored or deflected many complaints about the racially motivated and abusive conduct,” Naisbitt was allowed to strike again.
Mayes’ asks for unspecified damages from the school district, transportation director Dave Roberts, and John Naisbitt.