August 25, 2006
A half century of progress
Nine black children attending schools in northwestern Louis-
iana’s Red River Parish were directed last week to the back of a school bus by a white driver who designated the front seats for white chil-
dren, the mother of one of the children said.
“All nine children were assigned to two seats in the back of the bus and the older ones had to hold the smaller ones in their laps,” Iva Richmond, mother of two of the children, told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Red River Parish Schools Superintendent Kay Easley, did not return a call for comment Thursday. The (Shreveport) Times newspaper said Easley acknowledged that she has investigated the claim and confirmed that the bus driver did not run her route Wednesday. She would not comment further, the newspaper said.
Richmond said her children, ages 14 and 15, had long had a black bus driver, but their bus assignment was changed this year. When they started school earlier this month, a white driver was at the wheel. The driver told the children that she had assigned seats to the white students on the bus and ordered the black children to sit in the back.
Richmond said she complained to a local principal who told the driver that if any children were assigned to seats, all would have to be.
Early last week, the driver assigned black students to two seats in the back of the bus, an arrangement that had some of the smaller children sitting in the laps of older children.
Richmond said her complaints to parish school officials were not immediately acted on. But, she said, Easley told her on Wednesday that the situation would be addressed.
“She said she was going to take care of it but she could not go into details about how she’s going to take care of it,” Richmond said.
A new solution reached Monday by School Board officials has a black bus driver driving across town to pick up the nine black children.
Welcome to Bush’s America.
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