Lawman and part-time school bus driver harassed a gay pupil

Lawman and part-time school bus driver harassed a gay pupil September 14, 2017

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

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  • Broga

    ” 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.”
    In your dreams. And the Trump weirdo is encouraging the bigots to run riot.

  • L.Long

    I want this ahole to show me where the buyBull says ‘faggots burn in hell’ & if he can’t, fine his ass $5000 for emotional stress to the boy! Do that a few times and these bigots will keep their mouths shut!!!

  • Stephen Mynett

    The trouble is all these bigoted weirdos feel empowered by the Trump creature. Strange we do not see so many Trump-loving trolls saying how amusing his presidency would be on this site these days.

  • barriejohn

    He sounds like a really nice guy:
    Morton says word got back to him from several people that Belt said he intended to kill him. On more than one occasion, Morton says Belt made a gesture with his hand as though he pretended to shoot him…
    Both Holcomb, and the Commission not only failed to properly train and supervise both Ryder and Belt, but also investigate Belt’s “long-standing history of physical violence toward citizens of Clay County, West Virginia.” Though no specifics are provided, Morton alleges prior to his first altercation with Belt in November 2007, other citizens lodged “numerous complaints” against Belt for excessive use of force.

    Who needs criminals with deputies like this?
    I tired to find out more about him, but the information appears to be unavailable – HTTP ERROR 403!

  • 1859

    Another person turned into a living fossil by religion. His brain has been turned into a large lump of quartz – a bit like Trump’s actually (and perhaps Mr Fatface Kim in the DPRK).
    Sorry to slide OT, but how much time do you think we have left before one of these bullies pushes a button?

  • Tyne

    Is this a case of someone actually looking like the “back end of a bus”?
    But he is definitely one one those sorry arsed people who, once given s uniform to strut around in, transmogrifies into an overbearing jumped up bully. And as well as the badge he has his personal fag hating God on his side.

  • barriejohn

    Perhaps we should call him “Bible Belt”.
    @1859: The Cult of Kim in NK is very similar to a religion. Do you notice that in photos of the “Dear Leader” everyone is holding a little notebook and pen? This is so that they can note down immediately the wise words of advice that the “Brilliant Leader” utters – even nuclear physicists, as we saw recently. Phrases like this crop up regularly with regard to the “Beloved Leaders”: “The great leader Comrade Kim Jong-il provides on-the-spot guidance to the Ragwon Machine Complex.” There is no sphere of human endeavour in which they are not supremely qualified to offer advice!

  • andym

    ‘Perhaps we should call him “Bible Belt”.’
    Beat me to it.
    Remember as well that NK has a dead man as eternal president. As Hitchens said,it’s a theocracy in all but name.

  • Broga

    1859: I think we are moving close to the button being pushed. Kimmy, a lump of congealed fat, especially his brain, is loving all the world attention. He has the USA so rattled that they would coming running if he offered “talks.” He has just sent a missile over a Japanese island. Japan, the only country to have been nuked, is twitchy.
    Trump is now faced with having to come good on his blood curling threats. Kimmy is facing him down and Trump’s very fragile ego is being trashed. On a personal level, and to hell with the rest of us, he will want to demonstrate that is really macho man.
    China and Russia may step in to control Kimmy and take away his toys.

  • AgentCormac

    China and Russia may step in to control Kimmy and take away his toys.
    I sincerely hope so, Broga. The thought of the orange idiot having one of his playground spats while his finger hovers over the button is terrifying in the extreme.And as others here have pointed out, he positively encourages extremists like Belt to come out of the woodwork. I see he’s been at it again today.

  • barriejohn

    AC: He obviously can’t bear to be contradicted, and you can bet that, like other megalomaniacs in the past (no names!), he broods on what he considers his “humiliation”, just waiting for his chance to avenge himself. He is the most dangerous world leader ever, mainly because of the enormous power and influence that he has, rather than the extent of his disorder.

  • AgentCormac

    And his biggest humiliation, barriejohn, was at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner where Obama, amongst others, ridiculed the orange one in front of his peers (Trump was then at the fore of the ‘birther’ movement). It has been widely suggested that it was that very humiliation which made Trump decide to run for president. His relentless and vindictive attempts to dismantle all aspects of Obama’s legacy (Paris Accord, Obamacare, DACA, etc.) ever since he was elected would seem to bear that out.

  • Broga

    Trump attracts the worst elements in USA society. They tend to be close minded ignoramuses locked into ideas about the USA being the super power of the world and thus able to impose its will anywhere. It is disturbing that so many Americans continue to support Trump with his fragile ego, his short attention span and his desperate need for praise and slavish flattery.
    I don’t see much being said about caution and restraint from Boris our Foreign Secretary, with his carefully coiffeured untidy mop, or our devoutly Christian Prime Minister. Perhaps, now that we have wrecked much of the planet, nature is about to deliver a reality check. We are, of course, part of nature and neither detached from, nor superior to it.

  • barriejohn

    AC: That makes perfect sense.

  • Broga

    AgentCormac: That public flaying undoubtedly cut deep into Trump. It will still be festering in his mind. What he now seeks is revenge on anyone that dare oppose him and if that means killing millions then OK.
    Everything has now got bloody scary with that lunatic on the loose and supported by his loons.

  • AgentCormac

    Perhaps, now that we have wrecked much of the planet, nature is about to deliver a reality check. We are, of course, part of nature and neither detached from, nor superior to it.’
    Broga, have you ever seen this before?
    In 1854, the “Great White Chief” in Washington made an offer for a large area of Indian land and promised a reservation for the Indian people.
    The following was Chief Seattle’s reply.
    How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
    Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.
    The white man’s dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters, the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man – all belong to the same family.
    So, when the Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land, he asks much of us. The great Chief sends word that he will reserve us a place so that we can live comfortably to ourselves. He will be our father and we will be his children. So we will consider your offer to buy our land.
    But it will not be easy. For this land is sacred to us.
    This shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father. The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children.
    If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers, and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.
    We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father’s grave behind, and he does not care. He kidnaps the earth from his children and he does not care. His father’s grave, and his children’s birthright, are forgotten. He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to bought, plundered, sold like sheep or bright beeds. His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert.
    I do not know. Our ways are different from your ways.
    The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. But perhaps it is because the red man is a savage and does not understand.
    There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring, or the rustle of an insect’s wings.
    But perhaps it is because I am a savage and do not understand.
    The clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night? I am a red man and do not understand.
    The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of a pond, and the smell of the wind itself, cleaned by a midday rain, or scented with pinion pine.
    The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to the stench.
    But if we sell you our land, you must remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh.
    And if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where even the white man can go to taste the wind that it is sweetened by the meadow’s flowers.
    So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept I will make one condition: the white man must treat the beasts of the land as his brothers.
    I am a savage and do not understand any other way.
    I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and I do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.
    What is man without beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.
    You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.
    This we know: the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
    Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself. Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see.
    One thing which we know, which the white man may one day discover – our God is the same God. You may think you own Him as you wish to own our land; but you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the red man and the white. This earth is precious to him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator.
    The whites too shall pass; perhaps sooner than all the other tribes. Contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste. But in your perishing you will shine brightly, fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man.
    That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires.
    Where is the thicket? Gone.
    Where is the eagle? Gone.
    The end of living and the beginning of survival.

  • Laura Roberts

    @Broga:as much as I’d like to see him and his minions driven from office, I shudder to imagine what these cornered rats might be capable of.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    This man not only deserves the sack from his bus driving job but he should not be a police officer either. What would his attitude be if called to an incident involving a gay person? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

  • Vanity Unfair

    To AgentCormac:
    It’s stirring stuff, but see:

  • Broga

    Agent Cormac: Thanks. Whoever wrote it, I like the words and the philosophy. Buffalo Bill was regarded as a hero for slaughtering thousands of buffalo which had fertilised the plains and sustained the people for generations. But that was only the tip of the ice berg.
    There are so many hunters, safe behind their high powered rifles, who see themselves as courageous as they kill. We have our own heroes who love slaughtering wild things and prominent amongst them is the royal family.

  • AgentCormac

    @Vanity Unfair
    What a pity. But beautifully written, nonetheless.

  • 1859

    I wonder what Chief Seattle would have said had he been told that one day the white man would figure out how to incinerate a hundred thousand and more people in a single heartbeat?
    After living through the Cold War I guess (naively) I thought the real threat of nuclear war had past, but the situation is now getting scarier and scarier by the day. We have two self-centred megalomaniacs both in control of unprecedented destructive power whom seem seriouly prepared to launch nuclear missiles.Sorry guys, I just hope the fuck I’m wrong.