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When 14-year-old Tiffany tried to get on the school bus after school on Tuesday, the bus driver was ordering students to get off.

"He said, 'All you brown people are garbage,' " said the Latina student, who attends Bonneville Junior High. "Your people are pieces of trash. You guys are nothing."

Tiffany, whose parents asked that her last name not be used, said her friend recorded the white bus driver with a cell phone as he scolded her, saying: "You're a piece of trash too, so get off the bus."

On Thursday, Granite School District officials said they have reprimanded a bus driver who used a derogatory term to address students who were being "extremely loud and rowdy" while he tried to get students off the bus because it had mechanical problems.

Some parents and a community activist said they understand teenagers sometimes misbehave, but there is no excuse for calling students "brown garbage." They said they want a public apology from the bus driver and want the district to fire him.

District officials said they knew about the incident on Tuesday. They declined to disclose the driver's name. In their understanding of the events, officials said some students were being "extremely loud and rowdy" and the driver told the kids to get off the bus, using a "term that should have not been used." He stopped the bus at the school because it had mechanical problems and was unsafe, they said.

Officials declined to say what exactly what the bus driver said but agreed that it was along the lines of "brown garbage."

"Apparently it had racial overtones that we are very unhappy with," said Randy Ripplinger, a district spokesman.

Officials said the driver was transferred to another route and a district leader supervised him on his drive on Wednesday.

"We're making sure that the situation . . . won't happen again in the future," Ripplinger said.

Some parents, such as Tricia Vigil, and community activist Tony Yapias, who sent the district a letter requesting an investigation on Thursday, said the district needs to do more. Vigil said she wants the bus driver fired and to personally apologize to the students and parents for speaking out of ignorance.

"It's like giving him a slap on the wrist," Vigil said Thursday. "What if there are brown kids on the next bus? What's going to happen then?"

Vigil was worried Tuesday when her son, Rodney, got home from school late. He later told her the bus driver called him and the other students "brown trash" as he kicked them off the bus because it was broken. So he got a ride home.

Vigil said she was "hurt and very disappointed" because she can't believe this happened to her son in 2007. She said he and other students are already ridiculed for being bused from the west side to the east side of the Salt Lake Valley.

Parent Sam Pacheco says he knows some students can sometimes be disrespectful and they should be disciplined accordingly. But they should never be denigrated because of the color of their skin.

"No child should be called any names," he said. "I don't care what color they [are] . . .. They shouldn't be treated like that."

As for Tiffany, she's still sad and upset about what happened this week at school, a place where she's supposed to feel safe.

She said she doesn't understand why an adult would call her and her friends brown trash, especially because they weren't on the bus with the students who were misbehaving.

"I thought he would yell at us for being us; not because of our color," she said.

By the numbers

Granite School District:

* Total student enrollment (fall 2006): 68,483

* White: 65.5 percent

* Latino: 24.5 percent

* Pacific Islander: 4 percent

* Asian: 3 percent

* Black: 2 percent

* American Indian: 1 percent

Source: Granite School District