Moorhead students kicked off bus say driver used racial slurs

Published: Nov. 23, 2016 at 10:27 PM CST
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"Once those children board that bus, it becomes that driver’s responsibility to get those children safely from point A to point B,” James VanRaden said.

A Moorhead parent is furious after a bus driver allegedly used racial slurs, then kicked kids off the bus, leaving them stranded in the cold near 25th Street South and 12th Avenue South in Moorhead.

VanRaden was upset after his daughter told him what happened on the school bus Tuesday afternoon.

"He told the students you can just get off and you can all walk. At that point all 20 of the students got off the bus and were essentially left on the road side," VanRaden said.

According to VanRaden's daughter, it was just another day on the bus, until a verbal exchange started between two students and the driver.

She says that's when the driver got upset and kicked the kids off, using foul language.

"Not only did he utilize the n-word towards those two individuals, but he called the rest of the kids on the bus, she said the a-word,” VanRaden said.

Moorhead Public Schools Superintendent Lynne Kovash says student safety is their number one priority.

"The bus driver did the wrong thing, but there were also students that were misbehaving on the bus and we want to have a safe bus ride for all the students,” Kovash said.

She says the school has made reports to the state department and the county and they will continue to investigate.

"Transportation on the bus is a privilege, it is not a right of a student to have transportation on a bus. So one of the things coming out of this is we need to investigate those students that were involved in this,” Kovash said.

VanRaden says the situation could have been handled differently.

"I understand that sometimes things get heated and I understand that sometimes things get stressful, but that's when a person needs to step back, take a breath. If he needed to leave the bus, leave the bus, but wait for some sort of safe transportation to come,” VanRaden said.

We reached out to Red River Trails, the busing subcontractor who the driver works with for a comment, but haven't heard back.

Moorhead Public Schools says they will speak with the children who were on the bus on Monday.