St. Louis Bus Drivers Hold ‘Sick Out’ After Black Employee Allegedly Found Noose at Work

Amin Mitchell, the employee who claims he was targeted by the gesture, shared two videos on Facebook that appear to show the noose lying on the ground near his workstation

<p>getty</p> School buses


School buses
  • Amin Mitchell, an employee with Missouri Central Bus Company, shared two videos on Thursday showing a noose he allegedly found at his workstation

  • The mechanic said he allegedly found the noose following an argument with one of his supervisors, whom he claims to have reported before

  • Nearly 100 school bus drivers for St. Louis Public Schools walked off the job in the wake of the alleged incident, leaving nearly 60 routes without drivers

A group of Missouri school bus drivers have staged a “sick out” after a Black employee allegedly found a noose near his workstation.

Nearly 100 drivers first called in sick on Monday in support of their co-worker Amin Mitchell, who works as a mechanic for Missouri Central Bus Company, according to FOX affiliate KTVI and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Mitchell claimed he found the noose following an argument with a supervisor, per The Kansas City Star.

On Thursday, Mitchell shared two videos on Facebook that appear to show the noose lying on the ground near the station.

Related: Tennessee School Bus Driver Killed, 2 Students Injured in Wrong-Way Crash

In his post, Mitchell claimed he has “been filing prejudice complaints” against two of his supervisors since he first took the job. He also claimed to file a complaint with human resources “at least twice a week” regarding “equality.”

“Today I had enough!” the mechanic wrote on Thursday. He later added, “Something needs to be done ASAP!”

About one-quarter of St. Louis’ school bus routes were impacted by the sick out, leaving hundreds of students without their typical transportation, according to KTVI.

Fifty-six bus routes have been impacted by the walkout, according to a post on St. Louis Public Schools’ Facebook page.

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Most after-school activities were canceled Monday and Tuesday as a result of the walk-out. In the meantime, the district said school officials are “looking for ways to make the best of a bad situation.”

“Regarding bus service to and from school, we are simply unable to predict what will happen,” St. Louis Public Schools said in Monday’s statement.

In a subsequent statement, shared Tuesday, the district said Missouri Central informed them that the “troubling allegations” include issues of a “racially charged nature,” and that a third-party investigator is looking into the case.

“We hope for a swift resolution,” the district said before apologizing to families “for the inconvenience” caused by the bus route disruption.

Related: 8-Year-Old Girl Critically Injured After Being Hit by Car at School Bus Stop

Scott Allen, Regional Operations Manager at Missouri Central Bus Company, said in a statement to PEOPLE, "At Missouri Central, our policy is to provide and foster a work environment that is welcoming to all regardless of age, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation."

He added, "There is zero tolerance for any behavior that violates this policy. As such, we have hired an independent third party to investigate these allegations, and we will take whatever action is deemed necessary based on what we learn. We are working diligently to minimize service disruptions for our students, families and administrators as we understand how important it is for our children to be educated."

An independent third-party investigator has been brought on by Missouri Central to investigate Mitchell’s allegations, according to the school district.

Related: Florida Student Hit and Killed by School Bus While Biking: 'He Was Such a Good Friend'

Some of Mitchell’s colleagues described their work environment as hostile, according to KTVI. Mitchell said he and his co-workers have experienced both racial and sexual harassment, as well as unsafe working conditions.

“[My co-workers] are here supporting me by standing behind me, knowing that this can’t be something that is swept under the rug,” Mitchell added.

This is just the second year Missouri Central has served St. Louis Public Schools, according to the Post-Dispatch. A separate issue arose in August 2022 when the business failed to hire enough drivers for the allotted routes, leading the district to suspend service to six local high schools.

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