The Davis County school bus driver who was fired after a Facebook post that called homosexuality a “disease” was fired for “failing to uphold the district’s code of conduct” and “fostering an atmosphere of intolerance,” the district said Friday.
The post, posted in February, said school district officials should “stop being gay and start being more like everyone else” and accused the district of “being politically correct, homophobic, racist, and homophobic.”
The post was quickly removed after Davis Superintendent Mike Wirtz and school board president Jeff Ritter spoke out, saying the post violated school district policy.
In a statement, WirtZ and Ritter said the school district will review its “zero tolerance” policy for discrimination and conduct that is contrary to the district code of standards and is not consistent with our core values and beliefs.
“The school district is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all students,” Wirtzy said.
“We have taken steps to ensure that our students feel comfortable in the classroom, in the community, and at school.”
In a separate statement, Ritter told News 4 that he did not want to “further alienate or stigmatize anyone.”
“I have heard the stories from my students who are now adults who were discriminated against by the driver of the school bus.
I am not the one that has the responsibility for my students, so I don’t want to add to the cycle of pain they are going through,” he said.
In the past, school board members have said the district has taken a “zero-tolerance” approach to discrimination and has removed employees who violated that policy.
District Superintendent Mike Ritter speaks during a press conference in Denton, Texas, in this April 3, 2017, file photo.
The statement came after the district held a news conference on Friday to announce that the district is terminating the driver, Brian Brown.
The district said the decision to fire the driver was based on “continued negative behavior by the school board member, a pattern of unacceptable behavior by other members of the board and an inability to be an effective leader in the district.”
The district added that the driver also failed to maintain the high standards of professionalism that are expected of school district employees.
Wirtz said the driver had a “troubling history” and that he has “taken great responsibility for the actions of this employee.”
The statement from the district did not elaborate on what led to the termination.
Brown was the driving force behind the “zero tolerance” policy that was adopted in May 2015.
In his statement, Brown said that he was fired because of “a pattern of inappropriate behavior by several board members and management.”
The board said it is looking into the “possible impact on the safety of the students and the district,” and that it will review “all possible legal action” to pursue disciplinary action against Brown.
The statement also did not offer any details of what led up to the decision.
The Denton Record-Chronicle, the newspaper’s parent publication, reported that Brown had been a board member since 2003 and had been in his position since January 2017.
The newspaper said the board had been contacted by the district, but no complaints were filed with the Texas Commission on Human Rights.
Brown told the newspaper that he had been “deeply saddened and angry” by the news.
He also told the paper that he is “shocked” by how the news has affected his family.
“The last thing I want to do is hurt anyone or create fear in anybody’s life.
That’s not my style,” Brown said.”
But I also know that people need to be educated about their own behavior and the way they react when they hear that somebody has said something like that.
So I’m going to take my time and talk to my family.”
The newspaper reported that one of the two parents of a student on the school’s bus had called the school to say that a student was gay.