A spokesman for Anne Arundel County schools said Monday a bus driver who allegedly called a third-grader a racial slur last month will no longer transport students.
Ross Cohen, former owner of Annapolis Bus Co., was decertified as a driver for one year after the investigation of an incident May 2 in Annapolis. The company that now owns his firm was fined because the video camera on the bus was not operating that day.
Schools spokesman Bob Mosier declined to discuss the specifics of the investigation as it was a personnel matter.
“The result of the investigation was that the driver will no longer be driving a bus that transports Anne Arundel County Public Schools students,” Mosier wrote in an email.
Student Haidyn Johnson, 9, texted his parents May 2 saying a man filling in for his regular driver called him a slur in the context of asking him to move, while he was headed home from Walter S. Mills Parole-Elementary School.
Delray Johnson said the incident was degrading for his son.
“For him to use it on my son, in that way, yes, that hurt me to my heart,” Johnson told The Capital.
Student Transportation, which purchased Annapolis Bus Co. last year, said Cohen denied the incident.
“The board was not able to positively prove or disprove whether or not the alleged incident occurred as there were conflicting accounts by the elementary students involved,” spokesman Doug Coupe wrote in an email.
Coupe said Monday it was the first such allegation against Cohen in a 22-year career, adding that he has vigorously denied using such language.
Cohen was kept on as a consultant after the purchase.
Cohen could not be reached for comment. No criminal charges have been filed.
Mosier said Annapolis Bus Co. continues to provide bus services to county schools. He said the school system issued a fine to the company because the camera aboard the bus was not operating.
He did not provide the amount of the fine.
This story has been updated to correct the Anne Arundel County Public Schools decision on Ross Cohen. He was decertified for one year.