Amazing update on son's racist bus driver (long)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    After two weeks of anguish, I finally told my boss what C. had said, the racist comments to me and my son:
    "It's ok to be adopted, Lucas. It doesn't matter if you're black and your mom is white" (she told him this even though I'm sure he wasn't talking about adoption to her and had never brought up race)

    "They asked me if I was ok with black people when they hired me because, you know, there are black kids on my route" The bus company claims they never asked her this.

    "The races shouldn't mix." (That did it, when she said that. She reiterated it several times, then continued. I will note a few highlights.)

    "Oh, your daughter is bi-racial? I couldn't tell. They're all different shades, you know."

    "I think it's wrong to mix the races. The kids have it hard enough. Now I don't blame you for adopting THESE KIDS because, after all, they're already HERE..."

    "A black man once asked me if I'd have his baby and I told him, not unless he can undo my tied tubes." Hahaha! "I couldn't do it. I just couldn't."

    "My daughter is a racist. So is my mom." (Big Duh to both)

    My boss said that he couldn't fire her because it's her word against mine, although I'll bet she'd admit saying it. She seemed very proud of being a racist. When they asked me if she'd apologized, I said, "NO! She kept on justifying it."

    The amazing thing was their lack of caring until I told them that I didn't want my son to ride with her anymore. THEN they cared, but they still minimized it and asked me if she was a good bus driver. I ended up calling Coporate. Mr. XXXXXX himself tried to be polite, but I didn't feel he thought it was that big a deal.

    Another part of the story: I am her bus aide and today a little girl in a wheel chair was dropping her head and drooling and may have been having a mild seizure. We know she has them, although they are pretty controlled. The entire drive up, I was telling C. about her condition, and talking to her to try to keep her alert. This is hard because she is non-verbal and often non-responsive. After the kids were at school, C. asked me about my Face Blindness, which essentially means that I may not recognize somebody I know if I see them at a mall. She seemed to think that the Face Blindness means I can't recognize a seizure when I'm staring at the child. I set her straight and thought that this was the end of it.
    Once I got home I got a phone call from my boss who told me I was NOT allowed to go back on the route until I talked with Big Boss. I was furious. C. has been trying to get me off the route for a long time. I had been up front about having disabilities and Face Blindness does not affect the job. I ended up having to defend myself. Another thing that irks me: The job description does not say "should be able to recognize a seizure." Some abscence seizures are very hard to note. I'm afraid that C. is setting me up for the fall guy if a kid has a seizure. She tried to say I wasn't telling her the symptoms of the child, BUT I WAS. She is SUCH a liar!
    I don't know what will come of all this, but I don't want this wacko to go near my son, and I did tell them I didn't want her driving him, since "the races shouldn't mix." Who knows what she'll say to HIM if she'd say that to ME, the mother of four non-white children. She also is not stable. She told me (and trust me I didn't want to hear it) that her two husbands abused her and her kids, making her one son disabled. She still didn't leave the man, even after he hurt her son, and in fact allowed the man to have visitation with the children after he hurt her son so badly that her normal child will always be the mental age of eight. I don't think she should be with kids, period.
    After I met with my two bosses, who grilled me about the seizures, I went to Good Will. They employ disabled people. In my case it's strictly an invisible disability--my health is good. The man I talked to all but promised me a job hanging clothes. I PRAY HE HIRES ME. I need extra money, but can't make too much or I lose my Disability, which I need! That job looks so much more peaceful. On top of neurological disorders (visual processing deficits galore, face blindness, spatial orientation problem) I have anxiety. This bus aide job, due to the driver, was making me sooooooooo nervous. But I still feel like I was castigated unfairly.
    One thing for sure. I want that woman off my son's route. If they want to keep her, I will fight to get her off the two routes my son rides on. I don't trust her with my precious boy.
    Am I wrong? Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I would put things in writing from this point. Begin with your defence against ANY implication that you are not capable of doing your job. Make it clear, in writing, that you did a good job, went above and beyond the call of duty and would do so again if you see a need - this is what you feel the job requires.

    And a SEPARATE letter perhaps outlining your concerns for your son, your experience with C and HOW YOU FELT rather than any overall statement about right or wrong. Minute the events you have described above, make it clear that you are confirming events for the record and also make your point IN WRITING that you do not want your child driven by this person because if she said this to YOU, what could she say to a child, without thinking she's saying anything important. Don't mention anything personal she has said about her own background - certainly mot at this point - only the stuff she has said to you which caused you distress.

    Keep both letters gentle, calm but concerned. Do it BEFORE you resign but preferably AFTER you have good assurance that you have another job. because if you resign and THEn hand in the letters, they can still make it look like you were fired for incompetence.

    You can be sure she was spoken to after you complained. And like a lot of people when they are challenged, she responded with attack. "Well, SHE is incompetent, can't even recognise faces..." sort of thing.

    I understand about face blindness - easy child 2/difficult child 2 and difficult child 3, at least, have this. I agree, it is no big deal when it comes to recognising facial expressions or signs of seizure; it's just that for some people, they just can't recognise differences between faces. And there are grades of this. If you had full-on face blindness you wouldn't even recognise the faces of family members whether in context or not. To not recognise a familiar face when it's out of context - that's not too severe; definitely manageable. Certainly not a bar to a job like yours.

  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think Marguerite is about putting things in writing. I'm so mad and this didn't even happen to me. I'm sorry. I shouldn't be shocked but I can't believe the bus company didn't do more after your complaints. Hugs.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Yes, put things in writing. Go back and write down anything as best you can about things that happened in the past as well. If you can't remember exactly what date or time say "on or about Tuesday the 7th at or about 2:30 PM..."

    Other than that, I would keep all conversations with her totally on a business level. Nothing personal beyond "Goodmorning" or "Goodbye".
  5. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    OMG!! I cant help but think of the ignorance she is spreading. She is supposed to be a role model while she is working with kids..

    I had my sisters two girls for awhile. Tiara was 2 and Quiara was 3. My little girl was 3 and I was 4 months pregnant. My nieces are bi-racial according to society. Well I was grocery shopping one night and some lady had the nerve to walk straight up to me and say" I cant believe you had @#$ with a white man and a black man. You obviously didnt learn from that mistake since your pregnant again"

    I replied so gracefully" Oh my dear I am so sorry that your famalies years of inbreeding has caused you such ignorance" I just couldn't help myself. Racism comes in so many forms and it is so hurtful. I believe it is coplete ignorance and lack of education when people are that cruel.

    I am so sorry that you are dealing with this dingbat. I pray that she is taken off the route and that you get the job you need to stay in a more positive enviroment.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    At this point, I don't care about the job anymore. Good Will will probably hire me--they give work to people with disabilities. I went there straight from work the other day because the conditions are becoming intolerable to me. Plus I get Disability. It's no picnic going through life, without interventions, and many MANY autistic traits. Anyways, I'm determined that this woman no longer drive my son. She is VERY inappropriate.
    Yesterday I called Corporate Headquarters and spoke to one of the owners of the company (his last name IS the name of the company). I can't say he was really pleasant, but he got nicer when he heard about her comments. Technically, if he won't remove her, I can tell the school district that my son is NOT to be on her bus because of her ignorant comments (at least one of them to HIM), and they'd either have to find another way to get him to school or hire a different bus company. She is a seriously disturbed individual and my son is about as naive as an eight year old. He doesn't like her either. I wonder why...
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm sending lots and lots of luck for your job at Good Will. I think that's your best bet.
    For some reason, that woman will stay at that job--clearly, it's political and you're not going to win. She's devious. I wouldn't waste any more heartburn over her.
    Good luck!!!!!
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Here's wishes for the Good Will Job. It sounds like a much better environment.

    As for this, DOCUMENT everything, including phone calls with higher ups. If the school won't accomodate you then call the media. This kind of person gives the whole world a black eye. Let EVERYONE know what a black eye the bus driver is if they won't put another driver on your son's 2 routes.

    If you can't get media exposure, (and a tape recorder of her talking would be excellent) then tell EVERY parent you see about it. EVERY parent. Sooner or later you will get her off of there.

    I am glad you have started looking for another job. Now that the supervisors know and it still keeps happening (and more is happening) you do have a case for hostile work environment. Not racism, but this is what they throw everything under in govt jobs - inapprop pictures, words, etc...)

    Just document what you do that is required and over and above.

    As far as absence seizures, I can't tell most of the time when Jess is having them. She is MY child, how would you be able to tell with someone else's child.

    Oh, for your sake, carry a tape recorder with you at work. Just to protect yourself.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is it legal to carry a tape recorder?
  10. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    Some states do prohibit it, others allow it if one person is aware of the recording,and some states require both people to know. Isn't there a camera on the bus? Some bus co. install them without the drivers knowledge..this is legal in most states.

    I would call your local non-emergency police department and ask them or find an advocate who knows the law. Since you are disabled, can you get legal advice from legal aid?
  11. ShakespeareMamaX

    ShakespeareMamaX New Member

    It seems the qualifications of being a busdriver are pretty minimal these days...

    I can't believe they still have that woman on their payroll!!!

    Just when you think we're in the year 2007...racism goes ahead and peeks it's hideous head out.

    Good luck... And I, also, agree...write everything down.