Using deplorable anti-gay slurs and citing the Bible, a West Virginia deputy bullies and harasses an openly gay teen on a public school bus.
Clay County sheriff’s deputy Robert Belt is in hot water after multiple witnesses report that while working part-time as a school bus driver Belt used the bus intercom system to publicly humiliate and harass an openly gay high school student.
According to multiple witnesses Belt singled the student out before announcing:
No f*ggot activity will be permitted on this bus. In my Bible it states that ‘f*ggots will burn in hell,’ and I will not condone it.
A Facebook post by the Nelson County (West Virginia) Democratic Organization initially reported on the deputy’s appalling behavior:
On Tuesday morning, September 5th, 2017, an openly gay student from Clay County High School in Clay, West Virginia, boarded the school bus of part-time driver, Robert Belt, and sat down beside another student. Allegedly, Robert Belt, also a full-time Clay County Sheriff Deputy, dressed in full uniform, announced over the bus PA system, “No faggot activity will be permitted on this bus. In my Bible it states that ‘faggots will burn in Hell,’ and I will not condone it.”
On Friday, September 8th, 2017, a Clay County high school parent learned of the incident and voiced her concerns to the Clay County High School Vice Principal, Alan Tanner. Initially, Vice Principal Tanner stated, “I don’t know what you are talking about,” however, when pressed Principal Tanner said that he had reported the incident to the Clay County Director of Transportation, Jared Fitzwater.
The concerned parent discovered from the victim Leslie Osborne, Clay County school counselor, had taken three statements from students present on the bus.
Currently, Deputy Robert Belt continues to drive for the Clay County School system and is continuing to perform his official duties as Clay County Sheriff Deputy.
NBC affiliate WSAZ reports that after that Facebook post the Clay County school system launched an investigation into the allegations. In a statement, Superintendent Joe Paxton said:
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.
Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, please know that all of our employees are expected to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment for all of our students. 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.
Bottom line: If the allegations are true Belt should lose his full-time job as a sheriff’s deputy, as well as his part-time job as a school bus driver. There is simply no excuse for using anti-gay slurs, or bullying a gay teen, on a public school bus.