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Bus firm looks into racism complaint

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Photo: Jeffrey Chan

ACTION Buses has launched an investigation into reports of racial abuse targeting a group of international students on Tuesday.

Canberra radio station 2CC reported on Wednesday that a 55-year-old Korean woman had been called a ''f---ing Asian'' and told to ''go home'' by a group of teenagers on a bus in Bruce.

The woman was travelling with two other Asian students about 1.30pm when she asked to pass the five teenagers who were blocking the door.

The group of four boys and one girl taunted her, yelling racial slurs until she left the bus, and then abusing the two other students.

Speaking on behalf of the students, teacher Chris Bannerman said the teenagers had asked the students for the time and then imitated their accents and yelled further abuse.

''My students had no idea of what was going on, with these kids making fun of them and no one on the bus coming to their assistance,'' he said. ''The other passengers avoided the group and the driver didn't assist them in any way, which I think is disappointing.''

Mr Bannerman said he had lodged an official complaint with ACTION on behalf of the students who have limited English, and said bus drivers should be required to intervene in similar situations when it was safe to do so.

''It is probably not appropriate that this incident be reported to the police but the driver or other passengers should have given these kids a strong talking to and kicked them off the bus if it continued,'' he said. ''They told me that all a driver can do is use the radio to report this kind of thing and police officers will come and meet the bus.''

An ACTION Buses spokeswoman declined to comment on the incident on Wednesday but said an investigation had been launched into a complaint about racial abuse on a Canberra bus.

''No public comment will be made while the investigation is under way,'' she said.

She called on anyone with information about this or similar incidents to contact ACTION on 13 17 10 and said all reports would be taken seriously.

74 comments

  • The authority should take this complaint seriously and the perpetrators should be severley dealt with before racial abuse get out of control. The root cause are the parents and it does not help if the authority does minimal and the judge just gave these kids a "slap on the hand".

    Commenter
    John of Melbourne
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 8:03AM
    • A little time in the slammer for these creeps, I think.

      Commenter
      Riddley Walker
      Location
      Inland
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 9:15AM
    • Ah yes, because jail time has been proven to stop people from being asses.

      Commenter
      Catharz
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 11:22AM
    • Unfortunately this sort of behaviour is becoming more common these days. Its good that a complaint has been lodged as thats the only way something will be done about it. My wife was racially abused twice in approx two years in public areas for no apparent reason, both times the language used was loud, racist and disgusting. The sad thing was that people just walked by and said nothing.

      Commenter
      Alan
      Location
      NSW
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 12:21PM
    • Show them that there are consequences while they're young and they'll have half a chance to grow up and be a decent human being.

      Commenter
      hippydippy
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 1:24PM
  • I saw a similar incident in Gungarhlin by a bus drive. A kid gets on the bus, does have enough money and the dirve starts to mock him in his ascent saying 'no money'. I then offered to pay for the ticket for the drive to say no he won't take it. I point out to the drive then that he was refusing to take money was not his job and which point he backed down. Really I should have reported it. Although I look at it this way, it took very little for me to step in and once I did it ended. I would encourgae people to consider oding the same - sometimes pointing out behaviour is not right is all it takes.

    Commenter
    Tom
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 8:10AM
    • Mate you really should proof read your posts back before sending, it's hardly even understandable.

      Commenter
      WotTha?????
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 10:51AM
    • Good on you Tom, I understood your post.

      When passengers are abusive towards other commuters, the abuser should be immediately ejected off the bus.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 12:41PM
    • WotTha?? that's your only contribution?

      Commenter
      Danny23
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 12:51PM
    • WotTha??? I can see you are tolerant NOT. I understood what Tom said, have you thought that perhaps Tom is still learning English?

      Commenter
      T
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 1:40PM

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