Mom says school bus driver fat-shamed her daughter with special needs

Britni Starling says duaghter Nora was bullied by her school bus driver. (Photo: ABC 11)
Britni Starling says duaghter Nora was bullied by her school bus driver. (Photo: ABC 11)

A North Carolina mother is speaking out after her daughter was bullied by classmates and the school bus driver, local news station WTVD reported.

Britni Starling says her adopted daughter Nora suffers from anxiety, PTSD, ADHD and Reactive Attachment Disorder brought on by physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her biological parents. Nora takes medication to treat her condition, but they increase her appetite.

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As a result, the middle-schooler is a frequent target of bullies who call her “ugly” and “fat.” But Starling was outraged after learning that the school bus driver — who she says is aware of Nora’s special needs — joined the kids in body-shaming her daughter, who attends Mac Williams Middle School in Cumberland County, N.C.

“The school bus driver said, ‘Yeah if you keep eating that way you’re going to end up on My 600-Pound Life,‘” according to Starling, referencing the TLC series which documents morbidly obese people.

Starling says surveillance footage from the bus confirmed the upsetting interaction. She also complained to the school — which she says “let [Nora] down” — and has reportedly arranged for the girl to get a new bus driver.

She also texted the original driver, writing, “There is no justification for what you said to my daughter, and I’m sure the kids are bullying her because they see a person in administration like yourself doing it.”

In a statement to WTVD, a Cumberland County Schools spokesperson said that they are investigating the incident but declined to discuss any details.

“We hold all of our employees to high standards,” the statement reads. “Whenever we receive allegations of inappropriate conduct, we always investigate and take the appropriate action based on our findings. Because of student privacy and personnel laws, we are unable to discuss the details of this investigation.”

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