- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Jerome, Idaho, school bus driver has lost her job after being caught on camera pouring water on a passenger and chastising the student for speaking Spanish.

The Northside Bus Co. confirmed Saturday that former driver Mary Black was terminated after video footage of the incident was uploaded to Facebook, Boise’s KTVB reported.

The video clip shows the woman confronting eighth-grade student Miguel Martinez after he allegedly lobbed a water bottle toward the driver’s seat.

“She tried to take his phone away and when she didn’t get to do that, she just grabbed the water bottle and started getting him wet,” said Brayan Alverez, a Jerome High School freshman who recorded the incident on his cell phone.

In addition to dousing the boy with water, the driver was captured on camera making xenophobic comments to the Spanish-speaking student.

“I don’t understand Spanish. I’m not going to learn it. I live in America and it’s an English-speaking country. So if you want to speak to me, speak to me in English,” the driver is heard saying.

The video was uploaded to Facebook after the freshman provided the footage to Juan Espino, a family friend who said that his own son had told him about similar incidents involving the bus driver in the past.

“He told me he was told by the bus driver that it was not allowed to speak in Spanish while riding the bus,” Mr. Espino said.

Mr. Espino said that he had previously complained about Ms. Black, but was told by Northside that it couldn’t find any video footage to support claims against her, KTVB reported.

“When I talked to one of the other kids, he told me that when that took place the driver would turn, when something like that happened, the driver would turn the cameras off,” he said.

Northside declined to comment on the nature of the driver’s termination because it’s a personnel issue, the television station said.

“It’s not something that we wish for, and not something that I would want to, but there will be consequences in everything that you do in life will be consequences,” Mr. Espino said of of the company’s decision to terminate the driver.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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