The San Diego Unified School District bus driver, identified as Shawn Calpito, has been placed on leave while his employer investigates reports that he was ordered to return his vanity license plate to the state Department of Motor Vehicles because it carried an offensive message.
KGTV reported Wednesday that Calpito’s personalized license plate reads, “not see,” and is displayed directly beneath a Nazi swastika to ensure the message is clear.
After a reporter called, the DMV canceled the plates and ordered Calpito to return them.
“This is a guy who is promoting racial hatred,” said civil rights attorney Jim McElroy.
McElroy said the DMV regulates vanity plates, but he said Calpito’s apparently slipped past government authorities.
“This one is so subtle that without the other symbol, there’s no way for someone regulating this to realize this is supporting Nazis,” McElroy said.
Parents said they were concerned that Calpito might promote his political and racial views to students while he was working.
“It offends me, personally,” said parent Barbara Vickers. “He doesn’t have to change his opinion, but just think of what he’s doing for a job.”
The station reported that the school district had received complaints about Calpito’s BMW car parked at the transportation facility.
The license plate was added recently, the station reported, but the swastika had been on the vehicle for months.
The district said in a statement that it had learned about the situation on Wednesday and suspended the driver.
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