Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A school bus driver is charged in a homophobic attack on a student

From the website comes this story:

10/10/2008, 10:35 am

(Bourbonnais, Illinois) An elementary school bus driver has been charged
with leading a homophobic attack on a 10-year old student passenger.

The Kankakee Sheriff’s Police Department said that the boy was taunted
by the driver who then encouraged other students to chase and beat the

Chief Deputy Ken McCabe said the incident occurred on a Bourbonnais
Elementary School District bus which was returning students to their homes last

McCabe said the driver repeatedly called the boy “gay.”

”When the boy got off the bus, the driver encouraged several other
students to go after him and tackle him. Our investigation shows that occurred,”
McCabe told The Daily Journal.

He also said the driver is under investigation for joining the students
in chasing the boy and grabbing him.

Bourbonnais School District officials would only say the driver has
been terminated.
Charged with mob action, endangering the life of a child and
battery is Russell A. Schmalz, 46.

I just cannot fathom that a 46 year old man that is responsible for the lives of dozens of children on his school bus would sink to the level of a schoolyard bully and taunt a 10 year old child by calling him "gay". Then to encourage the other children on the bus to go and tackle him after he gets off the bus and possibly (most likely he did) join the other kids in beating him up!

Don't they screen these bus drivers to see if they're mentally deranged and determine if they'll be a potential threat to the children they'll be transporting to and from school? I guess not.

The State of Illinois has a hate crime statute that includes crimes against people based on their sexual orientation, real or perceived. Hopefully this man will be charged with this obvious example of a hate crime.

The Village of Bourbonnais' motto is: "Village of Friendship", sure doesn't seem very friendly. Especially if someone is gay or perceived to be gay. It wasn't for one 10 year old boy.

1 comment:

GDad said...

I saw this article, too, and it sickened me. I can only hope that he loses his job and does some jail time.