By Ben Velderman
NEW BERLIN, Wis. — A Wisconsin school bus driver has been fired for harassing a 12-year-old boy over a Mitt Romney sign in his family’s yard and for allegedly telling the boy, “Maybe your mom should have chosen abortion for you.”
The driver was employed by Durham School Services, a national company that provides busing services for students in Wisconsin’s New Berlin school district.
The boy’s mother informed Durham officials of the driver’s alleged behavior on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and Durham officials immediately conducted an investigation into the matter.
The next day, the company issued a statement announcing that the driver had been fired for making remarks that were “insensitive and inappropriate.”
Talk radio host Mark Belling broke the story on his program Tuesday when he read a letter from the boy’s mother. Belling has chosen to conceal the family’s identity, but notes that the child attends a local Catholic school.
The following is the text of the mother’s letter to Mark Belling:
“Mark, I’m not sure what to do with this one. My son just got off the bus today and told me that I will need to pick him up from school because he never wants to ride the bus again.
“Here’s what happened. We’ve had a Romney/Ryan yard sign in our yard for the past two weeks. My son, who is 12, told me a few times in these past couple of weeks that the bus driver has been making rude comments about us being Romney supporters, rich, etc.
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“Well, today they were having another discussion on politics, and she (the driver) was stating that Obama had made the unemployment rate go down, etc.
“He (the 12-year-old boy) told her that Obama is pro-abortion, and this is what she said to him: “Maybe your mom should have chosen abortion for you.
“My son was extremely upset by this. There are witnesses to the event that I called. They are all verifying this with written statements, which I am compiling.
“Mark, please let me know what I should do about this.”
Belling advised the boy’s mother to contact the school and the local bus company with her complaint, which led to a meeting between the parent, principal and Durham officials.
After the meeting, Durham School Services conducted an investigation into the incident and decided to terminate the 20-year employee.
“I am just so sick of this type of behavior being tolerated, if those offending are liberals,” the mother wrote in a letter to Belling. “No person should be able to get away with saying such a thing to a child.”
The mother added that she intends to file a complaint with the state of Wisconsin against the driver for verbal abuse of a child.
Belling compared the driver’s alleged behavior to last year’s protests against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at the state capitol building.
“This is the same behavior that we had to put up with during the whole Walker thing,” Belling said on his Oct. 9 radio program.
“People in a position of power – especially involving children – unable to control their lefty-hatred, unable to zip up their obnoxiousness,” said Belling.
“School bus drivers are not paid to express their point of view. If she wants to write a letter to the editor or call a radio program or go down to Obama headquarters, that’s her right as an American citizen … (but this) is unacceptable.”