Robert Belt, a Sheriff Deputy in Clay County, West Virginia, is not only a devout Christian; he is also a thoroughly nasty piece of work.
This became apparent after it was widely reported this week that Belt, who works as a part-time school bus driver, targeted an openly-gay teen who boarded a bus he was driving.
Patheos says that Belt used the bus intercom system to publicly humiliate and harass the high school student. According to multiple witnesses Belt singled the student out before announcing:
No faggot activity will be permitted on this bus. In my Bible it states that ‘faggots will burn in hell’,’ and I will not condone it.
A Facebook post this week by the Nelson County (West Virginia) Democratic Organization initially reported on the deputy’s appalling behaviour:
On Tuesday morning, September 5th, 2017, an openly gay student from Clay County High School in Clay, West Virginia, boarded the school bus of part-time driver, Robert Belt, and sat down beside another student.
Allegedly, Robert Belt, also a full-time Clay County Sheriff Deputy, dressed in full uniform, used the bus’s PA system to make his “faggots” announcement.
On Friday, September 8th, 2017, a Clay County high school parent learned of the incident and voiced her concerns to the Clay County High School Vice Principal, Alan Tanner. Initially, Vice Principal Tanner stated, ‘I don’t know what you are talking about’, however, when pressed Principal Tanner said that he had reported the incident to the Clay County Director of Transportation, Jared Fitzwater.
The concerned parent discovered from the victim that Leslie Osborne, Clay County school counselor, had taken three statements from students present on the bus.
According to this report, Belt ran unsuccessfully for Clay County sheriff last year, and was named in a civil rights lawsuit eight years ago.
A Clay County man accused Belt of engaging in a harassment campaign after he asked the deputy to remove his boots when he came to pick up some items belonging to a mutual relative.
The federal civil rights suit claimed that Belt told the man:
Fuck you and your white carpet.
The suit claimed that Belt then beat the man with a flashlight, and the victim said the deputy unlawfully stopped him multiple times and physically assaulted him over a period of months.
It’s not clear how that 2009 suit was eventually resolved.
Currently, Belt continues to drive for the Clay County School system and is continuing to perform his official duties as Clay County Sheriff Deputy.
Following the Facebook post the Clay County school system launched an investigation into the allegations. In a statement, Superintendent Joe Paxton said:
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.
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.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn