The Spokane Transit Authority says it's "taking very seriously" an incident in which four teenage girls were supposedly kicked off a city bus for talking about bisexuality.
One of the girl's mothers, meanwhile, says "heads are going to roll!"
According to this particular mother who wrote a letter that was posted on KREM News' website, the 16-year-old girl is a member of the Alliance Club, an LGBT group at Spokane Falls Community College.
Today my child who is 16 years old rode the Spokane Transit Authority system for the first time. She is a Running Start student at SFCC and made plans to take the bus system in order to come to where I, her mother, was working up on South Hill, Perry St. She and three of her friends who are all a part of the Alliance Club, Spokane Falls Community College's LGBT group, were removed from bus #2717, Rte 43 at 1:38 this afternoon.
The driver's reasoning is they were discussing subjects amongst themselves that she was uncomfortable with. She took offense to the word bisexual and asked them to quiet the private conversation they were having. In respect, they did. After other passengers debarked, one of the girls asked the driver if they could resume their conversation. The driver got upset and pulled over and asked them to leave her bus.
My daughter is only 16. Rural raised. Never been on the city bus system, does not know Spokane well, and was dumped off between stops more than a mile from her destination. I'm not sure how many laws this breaks but I'm sure my lawyer will have an answer. This is so wrong in so many ways. Discremination [sic] against LGBT, infringement on free speech rights, and I'm sure there is something about a 16 year old being dumped out on the street. Heads are going to roll on this one!!!!
Seattle Weekly spoke with Spokane Transit Authority Communications Manager Molly Myers, who confirmed that the incident indeed took place. She says that the STA has launched an investigation (namely, looking at video footage taken from the bus cameras) to determine if the agency's anti-discrimination policy were violated.
"We have a very firm anti-discrimination policy," Myers says. "At this point in time, it's under investigation. Once we get to the bottom of it we'll do what's right."
The teen and her mother couldn't be reached yesterday.
Meanwhile, a member of the Alliance group that the girls are part of said that apparently after the driver told them to stop talking about bisexuality, the girls pulled up STA's rider policies on a smart phone and argued with the driver, "egging her on."
It's unclear how that will figure into the bus agency's investigation, or, for that matter, the mother's lawsuit.