Fla. School Bus Driver Accused of Telling Boy He and His 2 Moms are Going to Hell
A 7-year-old boy says a bus driver from the Polk County School District in Florida told him that he and his two mothers are going to hell because of his parents' same-sex marriage, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
One day after school in February, Nathaly Encarnacion's son brought home a Jehovah's Witnesses business card. The boy missed his regular bus home from Alta Vista Elementary School and was put on a different bus. He told the bus driver, identified as Violeta Jacobo, he was worried his two mothers would be upset with him for being late.
That's when Jacobo allegedly told the boy in Spanish that he won't go to heaven because his parents are gay. She then handed him the business card, the newspaper reports.
Encarnacion claims the driver told her son a couple is supposed to be one man and one woman - like in the Bible.
"He came home, gave me this business card and told me we have to go look at the videos on this website," Encarnacion told the Orlando Sentinel. "He told us [that having two moms] is not right, and God doesn't like that, and it's the reason we're not going to make it to heaven.
"I've gotten a lot of backlash because I've been told Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in hell but what he described to me is what I think of as hell," she added.
Encarnacion said the incident left her hurt and devastated, telling the newspaper she "couldn't understand it because he has always been super proud to have two moms."
"I kept asking him why he felt that way, and he just went on and on about how we can't be together or we'll go to hell," she said. "I cried myself to sleep that night."
Jason Geary, a spokesman for the school district, told the Orlando Sentinel a "review of this incident has been completed." He added Jacobo "has been counseled by her supervisor on how to properly interact with students, including not to discuss or promote religious matters with students."
Geary said the driver, who was hired in 2012 and has no disciplinary action on her record, signed a policy advisory letter as did Jacobo's supervisor.
"This letter is not to be construed as disciplinary in nature, but is intended to inform or re-familiarize you with School Board policy as it relates to student supervision and welfare," reads the document, which reportedly calls Jacobo a valued team member.
Encarnacion wants more to be done, however.
"At the very least, she should be suspended or put on heavy probation," she told the newspaper. "She shouldn't be around kids at all. She was an authority figure in my son's life, and what she said really affected him, disturbed my family and our lives completely.
"Someone also should be talking to me about counseling I'll be having to get my son and what my family is going through now," the mother added.
Encarnacion said she may seek legal action against the school district for emotional damage to her family.
"What they do with the bus driver is ultimately up to them but I don't think what's been done is enough," she told the Orlando Sentinel.