Cleveland mom upset after school bus driver turns away daughter because of her mask

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 8:22 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Haley Smith’s 6-year-old daughter, Ja’liyah, usually gets on her school bus with no problem.

Smith said that wasn’t the case Tuesday morning after the bus driver refused to let Ja’liyah on because she only had a cloth mask which she’s worn before on the bus.

“She pretty much just told me no because she didn’t have a real mask,” said Smith.

Smith doesn’t have a car and had to scramble to get her daughter to Northeast Ohio College Preparatory School on time.

“Thankfully her aunt came and picked her up because I called her crying how upset I was that I didn’t know how I was going to get her to school,” said Smith.

After the bus fiasco, Smith decided to call her daughter’s school.

School officials from Northeast Ohio College Prep told her that Community Bus Service handles all their transportation needs, so she decided to call that company.

“I don’t feel like it should matter even if it was just something over her face... she still should’ve been able to get on the bus at that point,” Smith added.

I also called Community Bus Service to get their side of the story.

A facility manager told me Ja’liyah didn’t have a mask on at the bus stop and that’s why she wasn’t allowed to get on.

“We do have a mask mandate. All the parents are aware of the mask mandate. If they don’t wear a mask, we can refuse service,” said Tim Perkins of Community Bus Service.

Smith claimed her daughter did have a mask but she still wasn’t able to get on.

“I feel like I was targeted in a way... children get on the bus every day with a mask or no mask... you pick my child to not let her on the bus,” said Smith.

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