It's rare that I see my home town in the LGBT news, but here it is. I guess I should have ridden the bus in school instead of always walking or biking. Sounds exciting:
"If you can't believe in tolerance toward one another, you don't belong here. You belong in a parochial church school," said Carmel School Bus Driver Betty Campbell.
But the parents of a young Carmel Clay student say that Campbell took the message too far when she berated their daughter for her anti-abortion beliefs and opposition to gay marriage. They allege that harassment of their daughter began long before an incident recorded by a bus camera in November 2008.
"I don't want to hear one more word about anyone going to hell if they are gay or if they're Buddhist or whatever, 'cause it's none of your damn business," Campbell is heard saying on the tape.
Dr. Ed Zimmer, the girl's father, says that exchange never took place. The driver accused Zimmer's daughter Rachel of telling a fellow student that his brother would go to hell because he's gay.
But this is where the story gets fun:
And then there's this exchange with an African-American student on the bus:
Campbell: "If she says anything racial to you, I want to know about it 'cause I'm going to eat her alive. I mean it."
Student response: "I don't actually know 'cause I don't listen to her at all."
Campbell: "Well, you're a smart guy and Rachel is a stupid little bigot."
The driver is then seen on tape in an empty bus a short time later with Rachel and her sister, lecturing the girl about her opinion on gay marriage.
Rachel: "I never said that."
Campbell: "Yes, you have. Repeatedly."
LOL. I love this lady!
But the father's suing:
"I don't think there's a school district in the world that would look at the words that were used in front of a child, that we have on video with this bus driver and some are the worst you can use, and condone that," said Dr. Zimmer.
The girl's parents say it was a lesson in diversity that went too far, and will now let a jury decide who was right.
Yes, that's the problem with Carmel. Diversity training has gone too far. I went to high school there with around 3800 white classmates, 18 black classmates, and about two hundred or so of everyone else. The diversity training I remember consisted of telling us that the Roman Empire fell because they allowed gays in the military and that, except for that little Jim Crow thing, the 1950's were the absolute best period of time in history and everyone in America agrees it was because people were just more moral.
That doesn't stop parents from thinking that the town is getting too PC, though; one guy I worked for there complained that there were too many minorities in his daughter's Spanish text book. You just can't make this stuff up.
And those aren't the "worst you can use" when it comes to words. There are much worse. A jury will sort it out, and there are probably more tactful ways that the driver could have handled the situation. I don't know - I wasn't there.
But I'm guessing the father is one of those dudes who sits around complaining about silly lawsuits until he feels that he or someone in his family has had his honor insulted and suddenly he's in court looking for a buck. This country is full of them. Especially if the help gets uppity and talks back to daddy's little girl, who was probably just parroting what she picked up at home anyway.
You gotta wonder if this is how Carrie Prejean started out.