School Bus Driver Accused of Cursing, Spitting at Muslim Children

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) - Islamic leaders are praising a Panama City school district for firing a school bus driver accused of cursing and spitting at Muslim children.

Thomas Plaisted has pleaded not guilty to showing prejudice while committing an offense.

The 60-year-old Plaisted was arrested in May after he allegedly cursed and spit at the children in a Lynn Haven fast-food restaurant.

The Bay County School Board decided Wednesday not to renew Plaisted's contract for the upcoming school year. He has 21 day's to appeal the district's decision.

The Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations praised the school board for taking what it calls "appropriate action to ensure the safety and well-being of students."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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