A black school bus driver filed a complaint with authorities after seeing two children dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes and carrying a cross at one of her stops.
Claudette Johnson told the Marion County Sheriff’s Office that she spotted the pair Wednesday among a group of students waiting for the bus. Johnson made eye contact with the two as the other students boarded her bus, but said the robed students did not speak.
The children in robes then crossed the street and handed the cross to another child, who dragged the cross away, the complaint said. They stood between 5 and 5½ feet tall and weighed about 100 pounds, according to Johnson.
Johnson, a 23-year employee of the Marion County school system, said she had also seen a child wearing a KKK outfit at the same bus stop about two weeks ago. Her route serves students attending summer camp at a school.
“I don’t think this is funny,” she said. “I’m an employee for the public school system. I shouldn’t have to deal with this.”
A detective is following the case and had identified one suspect, said Lt. Butch Gallion. To take further action, Gallion said authorities would have to prove the suspects intended to harass or intimidate Johnson.
Gallion said the bus stop incidents were the only Klan-related episodes to be reported to his office.
Tom Patrick, executive director of support services for the school system, said the district would try to identify the children and contact their parents if the hooded figures appeared again.
“Hopefully, it’s just an isolated incident,” he said. “I don’t like to give credence to something like that, because if it did happen, you know these kids didn’t learn it on their own.”