UPDATE: State ACLU releases statement in Clay County school bus incident

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UPDATE 9/15/17 @ 9:20 p.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia has released a statement about an incident involving a bus driver who allegedly used a gay slur when talking to a high-schooler.

It happened last week in Clay County.

An internal investigation is underway and specific details have not been released.

Jamie Lynn Crofts, the ACLU legal director, released the following statement:

“I hope that it is being taken seriously by both the school system and the Sheriff’s office. LGBT students are already disproportionately bullied and harassed at school, without adults in positions of power calling them bigoted slurs and telling them they are damned to eternal hell.”

CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The county school system has launched an investigation after learning about allegations against a bus driver.

Clay County community members tell WSAZ the school bus driver used a gay slur when referring to a student who was on the bus.

Superintendent Joe Paxton said he first learned of the allegations when the high school reported the incident in question to the board.

The investigation is internal, therefore specific details will not be released.

Superintendent Paxton's entire written statement reads: "In response to the media’s request for a statement, please know that administration is prohibited from going into detail regarding these preliminary allegations. I can state that administration is investigating the allegations, and will do so thoroughly, all while complying with applicable laws and policies that govern the process. Administration always takes allegations of this nature serious, and in doing so, administration takes the investigation serious versus rushing to prejudgment."

The statement goes on to say: "Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, please know that all of our employees are expected to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment for all of our students. As the Employee Code of Conduct mandates, the school system expects all of our employees to exhibit professional behavior by showing positive examples of communication, fairness, and language. Also, as required in the Code of Conduct, the school system expects all of our employees to maintain a safe and healthy environment, free from harassment, intimidation, bullying, and free from bias and discrimination."

WSAZ will continue to follow up with Clay County Schools to see what comes of the investigation.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

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