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‘F*ggots will burn in hell’: Bible-thumping WV deputy investigated for bullying gay teen on school bus

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An off-duty West Virginia deputy allegedly announced “f*ggots will burn in hell” after an openly gay high school student boarded the bus he was driving.

Clay County sheriff’s deputy Robert Belt was dressed in full uniform when he made comments Sept. 5 over the school bus intercom as the student boarded and sat down, according to a Facebook post by the Nelson County (West Virginia) Democratic Organization.

“No f*ggot activity will be permitted on this bus,” Belt said, according to witnesses. “In my Bible it states that ‘f*ggots will burn in hell,’ and I will not condone it.”

A parent heard about the alleged comments Friday and reported the deputy to the Clay County High School vice principal, Alan Tanner, who then notified the director of transportation.

The school superintendent confirmed the incident was under internal investigation but declined to comment further, reported WSAZ-TV.

“All of our employees are expected to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment for all of our students,” said Joe Paxton, superintendent of Clay County schools. “As the Employee Code of Conduct mandates, the school system expects all of our employees to exhibit professional behavior by showing positive examples of communication, fairness, and language. Also, as required in the Code of Conduct, the school system expects all of our employees to maintain a safe and healthy environment, free from harassment, intimidation, bullying, and free from bias and discrimination.”

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Three students have given statements to the school counselor about the incident, according to the Democratic group’s Facebook post.

Belt continues to drive a school bus part-time and work full-time as a deputy, the social media post said.

He ran unsuccessfully for Clay County sheriff last year, and he was named in a civil rights lawsuit eight years ago.

A Clay County man accused Belt of engaging in a harassment campaign after he asked the deputy to remove his boots when he came to pick up some items belonging to a mutual relative.

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“‘F*ck you and your white carpet,'” Belt told the man, according to the federal civil rights suit.

The suit claims Belt then beat the man with a flashlight, and he says the deputy unlawfully stopped him multiple times and physically assaulted him over a period of months.

It’s not clear how that 2009 suit was eventually resolved.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

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There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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