TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The parents of a local teen banned from riding her school bus after saying she’s gay say they have now been invited to watch the video security footage of the day in question.
Izzy Dieker, an 8th grader at Americus School in the North Lyon County District, was suspended from her bus privileges after saying “I’m a lesbian” and for challenging her bus driver.
The statement was not said as a joke. Dieker said she’s part of the LGBT community.
“When we watched the video we heard maybe twice Izzy cursed,” Daniel Dieker, Izzy’s father, said. “But her friends she was back there with were much louder— and very repeatedly cursing. And it’s expected from middle school kids.”
Daniel and Izzy’s stepmother Tasha Cooper said no action was taken by the school district until Friday, February 12, two days after KSNT’s initial reporting came out.
“We had some back and forth with the principal a little bit and he finally walked back and said she can ride again,” said Daniel. “But that was by Friday and we already had several attempts to get him to change his mind. He didn’t want to do that until the story came out on the media.”
Izzy can now ride the bus again and was assigned a new driver. Her parents are moving forward by submitting a formal complaint. The situation will then be investigated for discrimination. They also want to raise awareness for anyone who might be in a situation like Izzy’s.
“I think people should be aware that even the smaller communities need to be aware and know what to do in these issues and how to treat it fairly just like everybody else,” Daniel said.