|UPDATE 9/27/2017 - The Clay Communicator is reporting that Clay County Deputy Sheriff Robert Belt has been removed as a part-time bus driver after an alleged verbal attack on a PA system against a gay teen riding a school bus.|
There is no report on what action the sheriff's department is taking against the deputy.
Reports say the Clay school system has ordered mandatory sensitivity training for bus drivers.
9/16/2017 - The Clay county school system has launched an investigation after learning about allegations against a part-time bus driver who is also a Clay deputy sheriff.
Clay County community members are saying a school bus driver used "gay slurs" when referring to a student who was on the bus.
A national web site RAW STORY identified the driver as Robert Belt, saying he got on the bus PA system and said "f*ggots will burn in hell" after an openly gay high school student boarded the bus he was driving.
The web site RAW STORY has published unconfirmed details about the incident.
Jamie Lynn Crofts, the ACLU legal director, released the following statement:
"I hope that it is being taken seriously by both the school system and the Sheriff's office. LGBT students are already disproportionately bullied and harassed at school, without adults in positions of power calling them bigoted slurs and telling them they are damned to eternal hell."
The alleged incident happened on the morning of September 5, on a bus full of Clay County High School students.
Reports indicated the deputy was in uniform.
Clay County Superintendent Joe Paxton sent out a statement saying that the allegations are being taken seriously and the administration is looking into the matter.
Paxton said he first learned of the allegations when the high school reported the incident in question to the board.
The investigation is internal, therefore specific details will not be released.
Superintendent Paxton's entire written statement reads: "In response to the media's request for a statement, please know that administration is prohibited from going into detail regarding these preliminary allegations. I can state that administration is investigating the allegations, and will do so thoroughly, all while complying with applicable laws and policies that govern the process. Administration always takes allegations of this nature serious, and in doing so, administration takes the investigation serious versus rushing to prejudgment."