In Moorhead, racism rides the bus

A Moorhead school bus driver has been fired after he abandoned about 20 students at an industrial park last week.

This is one of those stories, however, that goes beyond the initial telling, which didn’t include why a school bus driver would abandon middle school students in his care.

Here, the Fargo Forum says, it what really happened:

During the back-and-forth between the driver and students, Miller was called the N-word twice, the report stated. Because the students’ names are redacted in the report, it’s difficult to tell whether one or two students called him the N-word.

Miller, who is white, replied by saying, “You’re an (N-word) too,” and a student responded by using a slur for a white person against Miller, the report stated.

Soon afterward, Miller told all the students to get off the bus in the 2500 block of 12th Avenue South. As students left the bus, Miller said, “You (N-words). Get off my bus,” according to the report.

“When a student tells him not to say that word, he replies that they said it to him,” the report reads.

After leaving the bus, one student threw a handful of sand at Miller, the report said.

The paper says the driver was making black students sit at the front of the bus.

The school district has apologized to the students and offered counseling. It’s not investigating the fired driver because he’s not a district employee, but it is looking into the behavior of the students.

The Moorhead school superintendent rode the route with a new driver on Monday and said the kids were fine and thanked the driver when they were dropped off.

“There are good kids on these buses,” she said. “They’re not all bad.”