Posted on March 3, 2024

A Work Stoppage to Support a Mechanic Who Found a Noose Is Snarling School Bus Service in St. Louis

Jim Salter, Associated Press, February 27, 2024

A Black mechanic for the company that provides school bus services for the St. Louis school district said he found a noose at his workstation, leading at least 100 drivers to stop work in a show of support and NAACP leaders to call for an investigation into whether it was a hate crime.

The work stoppage began Monday and continued Tuesday for St. Louis drivers employed by Missouri Central School Bus. Most after-school activities in St. Louis Public Schools were called off both days. And 56 bus routes were uncovered Tuesday morning, forcing parents to make other plans.

“The allegations that surfaced Friday from the Missouri Central bus depot are upsetting, and it is our hope that management at Missouri Central will get to the bottom of what is clearly unacceptable behavior,” a statement from St. Louis Public Schools said. It also urged the company and its drivers to find “common ground” to resolve the stoppage.

“The families of Saint Louis Public Schools should not be the ones left suffering in this situation,” the statement says.

Mechanic Amin Mitchell said he found a noose last week at his workstation. Mitchell told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he believed the noose was meant to send a racist message to intimidate him after an argument with a manager over Mitchell’s concern that some bus brakes were inadequate.


Mitchell posted social media video of the noose, fashioned from a thin rope and lying on the floor in the area where he works.


Scott Allen, a regional operations manager for Missouri Central, said in a statement Tuesday that an independent third-party will investigate claims by Mitchell and others of racism, “and we will take whatever action is deemed necessary based on what we learn.”