Mark Segraves, wtop.com
WASHINGTON – The parents of a 12-year-old developmentally delayed student say their son was bullied by his school bus driver and they’re looking for answers.
The mother of the boy who attends Auburn Middle School in Fauquier County tells WTOP the driver has admitted to taping a sign to the boy’s seat that compared the student to an oft-maligned reality TV child star.
“The other kids on the bus had been teasing my son and calling him Honey Boo-Boo,” says the boy’s mother. “The school bus driver took a piece of paper and wrote Honey Boo-Boo on it and duct taped it on his seat.”
WTOP is not identifying the family by name due to privacy concerns for the boy.
The mother says this was not an isolated incident. The day before the sign was taped to his seat, the driver teased the boy as he left the bus, according to the mother, who says she confronted the driver.
“She got the kids to cheer and laugh as he got off the bus,” she says.
The mother says the driver told her she was just going along with the other kids and thought it was a good-natured joke.
“No apology or nothing, she just thought it was a joke,” the mother says. “It’s bad enough the kids bully other kids, but for an adult to get involved, and my kid is a special needs student.”
A spokesperson for the school system confirmed the charges are being investigated.
“We have spoken to parents and the matter is now under investigation. Beyond that we have no comment because this is a personnel matter, but it is being handled according to school board policy,” says Karen Parkinson, coordinator of school information for Fauquier County Schools.
The mother says she’s been given conflicting information from the school system as to the status of the driver. She’s also demanded to review the school bus surveillance video, but school officials have denied that request.
“I am furious,” she says. “The fact that they’re telling me I can’t see these tapes makes me think there’s something worse on there that they don’t want me to see.”
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