School Closing: The Green Aspiration Academy

Wayne County students say they face discipline for talking politics on school bus

WOOSTER, Ohio--  Students at Wooster's Wayne County Career Center say their first amendment right is being violated. .

"We have been receiving threats of being removed or suspended from the bus for talking about politics," said one student.

District leaders argue the story is more complex and includes hate speech not tolerated anywhere in the school district. The incident was caught in camera in a video obtained by Fox 8. The video shows a school bus driver telling the students political talk is unacceptable on the bus.

"We have asked everyone on the bus not to talk about the politics while we are driving the bus because it has problems with other students on the bus," said the bus driver identified as Mr. Cole. "People voted for this person, people voted for that person. You become so loud that people talk, they hurt other people's feelings about it then they get upset."

One parent says the encounter is based more on people personal opinions about the presidential election.

"I think someone's upset that their candidate didn't get voted in," said parent William Galanski.

According to the superintendent students were engaging in aggressive behavior involving hate speech prior to the video being taken.

"There is name calling on that bus," said superintendent Dr. Michael Tefs. "Personal attacks, intimidation, really loud that was the biggest concern for the driver. Really loud boisterous behavior."

Dr. Tefs says the school investigation is ongoing. He commends the bus driver for proactively and quickly diffusing a potentially escalating aggressive situation.

Fox 8 requested a copy of the school's report. We will update the story as we get new information.

Wayne County Schools Career Center