A Polk County mother is taking her concerns about a bus driver to the school board Tuesday night, accusing her of telling her seven-year-old son that he and his two mothers are going to hell for their beliefs.
The driver then handed the young boy a Jahovah’s Witness business card, according to the boys mother.
“It’s like a bomb that she dropped on our family,” said Nathaly Encarnacion, the seven year old boy’s mom.
Encarnacion said a month has gone by since the incident and she still has not heard from the school board after filing a complaint.
“She went on to tell him that God doesn’t like that and that kind of relationship is not right in God’s eyes,” Encarnacion recalls from her son told her that night.
Later, his mother says all that preaching got him thinking.
“He said, I can’t support this. You guys need to break up. We need to pack our things and move out,” she said. “They are responsible for my child and I should feel that they are in a safe environment.”
The driver in question is now on paid leave, but only after news reporters brought the issue to the attention of the school board.
In a statement, a spokesperson said “employees are not supposed to speak to students about religious matters,” and called it “deeply concerning.”
“From what I read, this is inappropriate. We accept all children,” said Hazel Sellers, a member of the school board.
Billy Townsend, who also sits on the board, wants to make sure all the facts are accurate but said he would support any punishment that sends a strong message about respecting students.
“There should be some form of discipline to make it clear that this cannot happen again.”
Tuesday evening, Encarnacion plans to address the school board and present a petition from Change.org, urging the board to issue serious discipline to the bus driver.
She will also ask for counseling for her son, who continues to wrestle with the bus driver’s damning statements.
“It’s horrible, disgusting, infuriating,” she said. “This Bus driver should at the very least not be working with children his age.”
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