Alex Ruffon, 13, from Goonhavern, was travelling on the bus from Newquay Tretherras School on November 8 when the driver made the offensive remark in front of other pupils.The offensive remark ('dirty little Arab') was addressed to the boy who, it was claimed, was spitting on the floot and picking his nose. He's lucky I wasn't driving!
But, of course, their precious little (mixed race!) darling can do no wrong, and this remark is horrid, horrid racism!
The youngster's stepfather, Matthew Walsh, complained to bus operator Hopley's and said: "They told me that Alex had been badly behaved on the bus, spitting on the floor and picking his nose. She remarked that the driver's comment was not racist but an old Cornish saying, but there's nothing Cornish about it.Condoning it?
"I was very angry that someone acting as a spokesman for a company could be condoning racism."
Yes, incredible as it sounds, the company aren't caving in and sacking the driver before delivering sacks full of cash to the aggrieved party:
Following an investigation, Cornwall Council wrote to Mr Walsh saying the driver had admitted using the phrase "dirty little Arab".Refreshing, eh?
The letter said reports showed the driver had used it in the past to others, regardless of ethnicity, and was apparently ignorant of its racist connotations.
In a statement to the West Briton Cornwall Council added: "It was entirely inappropriate for the driver to use such language, both the driver and operator have received a formal warning and been instructed that use of such language will not be tolerated in the future."
Of course, there are those that won't let this lie, and they aren't all relations of the little hooligan either:
Dean Harvey, a member of the Cornwall Racial Equality Council said the bus company had been naive in its handling of the complaint.Awwww, diddums! Not that you are rent-seeking here, eh?
"There needs to be a zero-tolerance to this sort of language. When working with the public you need to be aware, ignorance is no defence. An apology is warranted."
I mean, given the racial mix of the West Country, you must be pretty short of things to do in your day-to-day job. What a shame for you no one videoed it, you could have had your own small-scale #Twittermob going in no time!
Comments, as ever, are illuminating.