Case of 'redneck' bus driver ended quietly

What ever happened to the 'redneck' bus driver from the Phoenix-Talent School District who got fired for flying the stars and the bars on his truck. I know he took them to court and I thought he won, but someone told me the other day that he didn't win. What's the story here?

— J. Henderson, Jackson County

The "redneck" bus driver you are referring to, Mr. Henderson, is Ken Webber of Medford.

Webber was a school bus driver for Deleware-based First Student, Inc.. He sued the company in 2011 after he was fired for refusing the school district superintendent's order to take a Confederate battle flag emblazoned with the word "redneck" off his personal pickup or park the truck off school property.

After surviving a motion to dismiss filed by the company, Webber's case was eventually dismissed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark D. Clarke in the U.S. District Court in Medford in February 2013.

Essentially, Clarke ruled that Webber's claims hinged on the First Amendment, and that was not applicable to the actions of First Student, Inc., because it is a private corporation.

The case was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit where it was settled away from the court and dismissed following motions filed by the plaintiff and defendants.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.


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