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Racial discrimination, assault alleged in lawsuit against Davis School District and transportation employees

Posted at 5:45 PM, May 07, 2019

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — Racial discrimination and assault are at the center of a lawsuit filed by a parent against Davis School District and two transportation employees.

A bus driver accused of mistreatment says he’s being framed.

Surveillance video from inside a school bus on February 4, 2019 shows several students getting off before driver John Naisbitt appears to close the bus doors right behind a biracial boy.

The 14-year-old’s backpack straps get caught in the door.

“I couldn’t even comprehend how it could happen,” the boy’s mother Brenda Mayes said.

Students are shown panicking as the bus moves forward, dragging the child close to the tires for up to 175 feet.

“I was glad he didn’t kill him,” Mayes said. “I was glad he didn’t go under the wheel.”

Mayes argues Naisbitt, 78, shouldn’t even have been driving the bus after a history of racially-charged misconduct against children dating back to Sept. 2017.

Allegations include Naisbitt closing doors on two other biracial boys, calling students “stupid” and “idiots,” and failing to stop a white girl from assaulting a younger Asian girl.

Mayes says the district didn’t take any action against Naisbitt. She argues he was not removed from the route the day her child was assaulted.

“Something failed,” Mayes said. “They have a responsibility when I send [my kids] off to school, they have a responsibility to make sure they are safe."

To prevent getting fired over the incident, Naisbitt said he retired three days later.

"Would you say you’re racist,” Naisbitt was asked at his Hooper home Tuesday.

“Not at all. No. Look at my dog. He’s as black as could be,” Naisbitt said.

Naisbitt told FOX13 News eight buses were lined up behind his when he warned the kids he was moving the bus forward. He argues the incident was staged after he disciplined the boy’s brother.

“I didn’t see him in there,” Naisbitt said. “If I had, I would have stopped.”

Watch the unedited interview with John Naisbitt

In response to the suit, the district said any issues of discrimination are thoroughly investigated.

“The Davis School District takes any claims of racial discrimination seriously and does not tolerate any form of racial discrimination in our schools,” the district said in a statement.

“If they don’t tolerate it, why do they tolerate it in this case,” Robert Sykes, attorney for Mayes asked.

The lawsuit is asking for unspecified damages.