Offensive language covers Washington Co. school property

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Updated: 3/24 11:05 pm

HARTFORD, N.Y. – The Hartford School District is trying to find out who spray painted derogatory comments about a district bus driver on school property.

Wrapped around all four sides of the Hartford Bus Depot are derogatory comments about a male bus driver. The words include “molester” and “pig.” They were spray painted in big, bold red letters.

“It’s unfortunate because it identifies a specific employee and accuses them of something there’s no evidence for at this time,” Superintendent Andrew Cook said.

Cook believes the words were spray painted some time between the evening of March 19 and the morning of March 20. They’re words that stood out to parent Mike Mulhall whose children used to ride the bus with the driver named on the wall.

“I worry about my children because of this day and age,” he said. “Someone should look into the allegations whether this is true or not.”

Cook said the district’s number on priority is the safety of its students.

“Any accusation at all we take seriously, and we’ll investigate to make sure nothing is there,” he said.

The school is working with the sheriff’s office to find out who made the markings. The district said the bus driver is still driving buses, but now the superintendent is worried about the cleanup.

“It’s unfortunate we have to take tax payer money and possibly take some program cuts and then look to fix the bus garage from something that we didn’t do,” Cook said.

Cook said the cleanup may cost anywhere from $4,000 to $17,000 to erase all the writings, pressure wash and repaint.

“It’s shameful someone went to that extent to do that much damage because it is hurtful,” Mulhall said.

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