ALBERT LEA, Minn. (AP) — A bus driver for the Albert Lea School District has been fired after a disputed incident in which two kids accused him of making a racist comment.

Steven Jannings is an executive with Agnes Corp., which owns Albert Lea Bus Co. He says the driver’s conduct wasn’t up to the company’s standards.

Two 11-year-old passengers reported that a student wasn’t staying seated, and the driver yelled, “Hey, black kid, get your (butt) up here.” The kids say at least a third of the students began chanting, “Racist!” An Albert Lea Tribune report says the driver called police.

Jannings says the students’ recollection wasn’t entirely accurate. He says part of it was true but it wasn’t stated that way.

Company and school officials declined to release video from the bus.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (26)
  1. BS says:

    Would he have been fired if the bus was full of black kids except for one white kid and he yelled hey white kid get up here

    1. albert says:

      If the bus driver was black, yes he would.

      1. rockfish says:

        No, I don’t think he would.

        1. markH says:

          I don’t think the driver’s comment was at all offensive. If he had called him a “dirty” black kid, then yes. But come on here! The kid is black and the guy was merely making a factual statement that the kid was black. If everyone on the bus was bald and the kid had hair and the driver called for the kid with hair. Would that be wrong? This PC business is disgusting and the bus company is cowardly for reprimanding the poor guy.

      2. Wake up Albert says:

        You so full of stupidness and chiit albert – I wonder if you had momma type for you too?
        They would NOT FRIGGEN DARE touch a black driver if he made the comment….the ACLU would be hanging on every fricken door screaming racism…the poor driver was …. dude, you may want to look into incidents in the last 3 years in Hopkins and Bloomington on this very issue. It all went away – hell, maybe my tax dollar went with it for all I know.

  2. come on says:

    cco is that it really it not worth reporting on i will help you is this his first offence is he white, black, how long has he been employed what did he claim that he said. hey bad reporter go to the back of the bus

  3. Al says:

    PC Gestapo at it’s best. There isn’t enough money to get me to drive a school bus between the stupid kids and the stupid auto drivers out there it is thankless.

  4. AC says:

    Hey, I resemble that, I mean I resent that!

  5. David J. Conklin says:

    Looking into the mirror of your soul, eh?

  6. black/white says:

    Some white folks like to hide their hate behind a computer screen. Be racist in public. Not all white folks are racist but some and so do black people. I’m neither black nor white.

  7. Kevin says:

    Good for him! We need more like him in this casturated state….

  8. John Kyle says:

    He said “come up here,” to which the kids said “who?”. He restated and said “the black kid come up here”, to which the bus full of 7th graders started calling him a racist. How easy it is in this world to jump to conclusions and assume the worst. If the driver had nothing else on his record then it is on the Albert Lea School district for firing this guy…shame on them!

  9. Jake says:

    WOW, the PC police are really on top of the comments on this story. Be careful of what you say.

  10. Johnny says:

    Maybe he just made a mistake in the heat of the moment. It does not sound like he was racist by what is being reported here.

  11. I vote for the driver says:

    Bus company decision = stupidly unfair and completely incorrect.

    How many of you have seen how some of these kids behave (more accurately, misbehave) on a school bus? I can’t believe bus companies can even find people willing to drive their buses.

  12. Todd says:

    Life as a school bus driver is something you need to experience, because if you tell people on the internet, it will be redacted. Nobody will ever give a fair report from the driver’s side of thing… EVER!

    1. Todd says:

      FYI, I was a driver in Minneapolis for 7 years during the 90’s. Those of you that do the job, you have my support, because you are basically walking in to a job that you can be fired for EVERY SINGLE DAY for any little thing. My advice, once the economy improves, GET OUT!

  13. me12345 says:

    I am considered white and I am a female. White is “not” my nationality. I just do not get it??? What happens when we have someone rob a home and they are described as “black”, not all are African Americans, in fact if they were born and raised somewhere else like France they are not specifically African Americans.

    I am not prejudice but would seriously like to know?

    If it was a black or African American doing the description then what?

    I have heard many African Americans or black people call themselves black. I have seen many that are okay with being called black.

    Unfortunately I think there will be discrimination forever. No one is ever going to change that, but blaming everything on being black or African American, white, female, Indian, Samali, catholic, lutheran, financial status or whatever it may be will not get any one of us anywhere.

    The Indians sure have gotten rich off of the US technology. There are programs for all races. There are programs for certain religions. There are programs for certain genders. All of these programs separating everyone doesn’t help bringing people together. It’s not just “white” people discriminating as it once was, and even 100 years ago it completely wasn’t. Look at what has happened to the Jewish people over centuries and if you do more research they are by far not the only ones.

    According to history whites have been prejudice against whites by “class” forever and I have read African Americans have even done it to each other according to “class” forever. These two are not the only ones either.

    I tell my children, we may not have had a lot of money while you were growing up, but there are a lot of opportunities out there to make it a different life for them and their children. Stop blaming others.

    And please someone tell what is the politically correct for all of these nationalities. I seriously am not out to offend anyone. I don’t really care if you are purple, people are people.

    PS: While we are at it maybe our government should start allowing books in schools that tell the truth about history also. ie; African Americans, WW2, the Jewish, the Indians, the Vietnam War and what really goes on at the White House.

  14. Kids Behaving Badly says:

    Why is nobody upset that the students on the bus were not following the bus driver’s directions? I believe this is the problem we should be addressing.

  15. See BS says:

    How did racism go from Democrats and Union thugs lynching black people in public places like Duluth Minnesota to saying “hey black kid?”

    1. snowfire says:

      Typical republican – GOP’s roots are in the south, wealthy bigots and this same greed was behind the lynchings in Duluth as they brought in dirt cheap out of state workers to reduce the labor rates and fill their pockets!

      1. See BS says:

        No — Railworkers and Democrats had Ku Klux Klan members among them during that time. And they lynched black people in Duluth Minnesota during the 20’s.

        Minnesota was a hotbed of KKK during the 20’s too, the 1924 Democratic National Convention was the largest recorded Ku Klux Klan rally in US History.

  16. digger says:

    By your statement YOU seem to be one for sure

  17. blink says:

    I love the good little pc youth chanting ‘racist’ ‘racist’. They were indoctrinated so well, we must be proud for the unity of the party…er nation.

  18. bruce davis says:

    I am a 49 year old Black man, yeah Black not African American (I hate that designation) What the bus driver said was not racist it was racial which means he shouldn’t have been fired for it; he should sue for defamation of character. The kids who chanted “racist” should be forced to write the true definition of racism 50 times on their classroom blackboard: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

    If a black person is in a room full of white people and someone ask for him by name and he is described as the black guy by the lamp that is not racist.

    I am offended when cowardly racist hide behind a term like “reverse racism” (there is no such thing; anyone of any color can be a racist) it’s not against the law to be a racist; the law prohibits discrimination which means in a country that is 13% black unless you are the victim of a hate crime the odds of a white person being the victim of discrimination based on race by a black person in position of power are miniscule at best.
    I’m offended when blacks who have earned some position of responsibility or authority are referred to as an “affirmative action recipient” as if there is no way you could people can achieve accomplishments on your own.
    The most egregious offense is when whites say “now you’re playing race card” the phrase coined by the media during the O.J. Simpson murder trial…newsflash! LAPD Lead Detective Mark Fuhrman lied on the stand and WAS racist so perhaps racism should stop being classified to as some game; it is a horrific, painful reality that scars for life.

    No, what the bus driver said was not racist but racism is alive and well and will be until God’s Kingdom is brought back to the earth and humans brought back to perfection…or are all white people okay with your daughters marrying a black guy and bringing him to Christmas dinner or are all black people okay with their daughters bringing a white guy?


  19. Sarah says:

    Our world today sucks.

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