A Maryland bus driver who slung a racial slur at a black third-grade student has had his certification stripped, reports the Baltimore Sun.
Ross Cohen won’t be transporting elementary school kids around at least for the next five years after an investigation revealed that Cohen called 9-year-old Haidyn Johnson, a black boy, a racial slur. But there’s no word on what the actual word was. Johnson was on his way home from Walter S. Mills Parole-Elementary School.
Johnson texted his parents from the bus to tell them that a man, who was not his regular bus driver, said the slur after asking him to move his seat.
“For him to use it on my son, in that way, yes, that hurt me to my heart,” said Delray Johnson, the boy’s parent.
Cohen transported students for the Anne Arundel County schools. He was a 22-year veteran of the district.
Schools spokesman Bob Mosier said after the investigation:
“The result of the investigation was that the driver will no longer be driving a bus that transports Anne Arundel County Public Schools students,” Mosier wrote in an email.
Cohen was the former owner of Annapolis Bus Co. There was no camera on board and now the company that owns the firm has been fined for failing to have an operational camera.
Cohen has since denied saying the slur.
“The board was not able to positively prove or disprove whether or not the alleged incident occurred as there were conflicting accounts by the elementary students involved,” spokesmanDoug Coupe wrote in an email. He said Cohen, “vigorously denied using such language.”
No criminal charges were filed against Cohen. He also still has a job and was kept on by the district as a consultant. Annapolis Bus Co. continues to provide bus services to county schools.