The news is full of stories, from around the nation, about problems that are happening with the school busses that transport children who have special needs to and from school. I cannot help but wonder if these sort of problems have always gone on, and I’ve not noticed them before, or if this was always happening.
This Summer, several parents of children who were attending extended school year programs had issues with the lack of air conditioning on the busses that were taking their children to and from school. Everyone has heard that it can get dangerously hot inside vehicles that have been sitting outside in the Summer sun. School busses pose the same dangers.
In some parts of the country, the weather has continued to stay really warm, even though the Summer has ended. This means that parents should pay close attention to how their child feels when he or she gets off the bus after school. If your child is dripping in sweat, and ill, this means that the driver is not using the air conditioning, or that the bus does not actually have air conditioning in it. Now would be the time to complain.
There have also been problems with bus drivers dropping children off in the wrong place. A mother in Dallas, Texas, learned that her six year old son, who has special needs, was kicked off of a school bus by the driver. The child was left alone at a busy intersection, about three miles from his home.
It turns out that the six year old had somehow ended up on a school bus that was not his. So far, there hasn’t been any explanation as to how that happened. It is currently unknown why the boy was not supervised by a staff member at the school while he was waiting for his bus to pick him up at the end of the school day.
Fortunately, the child was picked up by a DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) bus. The driver asked the child his name and phone number, and then called his mother for him. This situation turned out much better than it could have.
A bus driver in Chicago has been fired after leaving a nineteen year old student with Down Syndrome on the school bus, alone, for five hours. The student was supposed to be dropped off at the Southwest Cook County Cooperative Association for Special Education school.
The student fell asleep on the bus as it was driving to the school. The driver failed to do a walk through of his bus after completing his route. The driver drove the bus to the terminal, parked it, locked it, and left it. The student remained on the bus for five hours, and was noticed when the driver returned to the bus for his afternoon route. At that time, the student was returned to the school.
A mother in Tulsa, Oklahoma, experienced difficulties with the bus system that was supposed to take her child to his school. Her son, an elementary school student, has Cerebral Palsy. The bus that came to pick up her son was not equipped to handle wheelchairs. The second bus arrived, but parked two houses down from her’s. Her son ended up late for school that day.
Parents should keep the phone number for their child’s school, and for the company that runs the busses, handy. It seems that you just might need to contact them.
Image by Alex Starr on Flickr