Two transgender students say that they were discriminated against by a school bus driver who told them they had to sit in a specific part of a bus.
Here’s video of the interaction that was posted to Facebook:
What do they say happened?
According to Leo Washington and (Aaren) Layla Sweenor, the bus driver told them they had to sit on the girls side of the bus, despite them saying they felt more comfortable on the boys side of the bus.
“Before he started the bus, (the bus driver) gave us this weird look and he told us to get to the girls side of the bus and we didn’t move because we felt more comfortable where we were sitting,” Washington said, The Post Star reported. “When we tried to explain it to him, he started yelling at us to move to the other side of the bus.”
Washington and Sweenor identify as “nonbinary” persons, which means they say they are neither female nor male.
When they refused the driver’s commands, he told them they weren’t moving until they did as they were told.
Sweenor said in an email to The Post-Star that the two students wanted to sit where they were most comfortable. Other students showed pages in the student handbook to the driver to show him that he cannot control them based on their gender expression. They also showed him the anti-discrimination law.
“The whole time he said: ‘I don’t care. It’s my bus,’ and ‘I’m not moving till I get what I want.’” Sweenor said. “He treated us as if we were wrong.”
Eventually they got off the bus. They contacted school officials about the altercation.
How did school officials react?
School officials were very supportive of the “nonbinary” students. They said they’ll address the acts of the bus driver privately, and use the moment to reiterate their tolerance of transgender students.