A school bus driver in Michigan was suspended — but will keep her job — despite reacting to a viral video on Facebook with a racial slur.
Sharon Kimberly, a substitute bus driver with the Livingston Educational Services Agency, saw a widely shared video on social media showing a black woman loudly complaining about a military veteran’s service dog at a Delaware restaurant, reported the Livingston Daily.
After seeing the video, the Hartland woman was apparently unable to resist the impulse to make a racist declaration: “That’s a n*gger.”
Kimberly was suspended without pay for two weeks and will be required to complete racial sensitivity training and will be retrained on board policies, the newspaper reported.
A written reprimand will also be placed in her personnel file.
The agency launched an investigation after Kimberly posted the racist comment Sept. 21 in response to the viral video, and other Facebook users strongly criticized the school bus driver.
“We respect people’s abilities to make public statements and express their views, but there are times when those public views come in conflict with their roles working for an educational institution,” said LESA Superintendent Mike Hubert.
Kimberly insisted to Facebook users that she would have made the same comment if the woman had been white, but social media users dug up previous racist content on her account.
The bus driver had previously shared a Facebook meme claiming: “I’m proud to be white — I bet no one passes this on because they are scared of be (sic) called a racist.”
Another meme claimed the Confederate flag was intended to mean: “Through the blood of Christ, with protection of God, We, the 13 states, are united in our Christian fight for liberty.”
One of the social media users reported Kimberly’s racist activity to her employer, and she complained on Facebook.
“I made a comment on Facebook just like everyone else does,” Kimberly posted. “There were over 300 comments and he targeted me because he had nothing better to do with his day.”
Kimberly removed those inflammatory posts from her Facebook account, which her employer required her to do.
Livingston County, according to the U.S. Census, is 96.7 percent white and less than 1 percent black.
The woman seen in the viral video later explained to TMZ that another customer at Kathy’s Crab House had called her the same racial slur as Kimberly before the video was recorded, and she said other customers hurled racial slurs as she left.
She told the website she had relatives who suffered from PTSD after serving in the military, but she was disgusted by dogs in restaurants.