A bus driver in Clay County, W.Va., is accused of referring to a student passenger with an antigay slur over the bus's intercom system. The high school reported the alleged incident to superintendent Joe Paxto, who launched an internal investigation, reports WSAZ TV.
Paxto released the following 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."
Paxto added that hate has no place in his district.
"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," he continued. "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."
West Virginia has no legal protections for LGBT people, including youth, according to the Human Rights Campaign.