When I found out my child with special needs would likely receive services from the school district after he turned three, I was also told he could receive transportation to and from school. I gasped. My baby? On a bus? A common motherly reaction, I was told. I was assured all parties involved knew what they were doing. But my local news is indicating this isn’t always the case.
A few months ago, there was a story about a three-year-old special needs child who was taken to the wrong school, transported to the correct school, then not picked up after school. Today, I heard about a four-year-old special needs child who didn’t get transported home after school. Neither the driver, nor the school, could find the child when the parents inquired. They seemed to quickly find him, but the teacher said the child did not show up to school that day, nor the day before. The parents had no idea. The bus had picked him up from home and brought him home as usual. As I would, the mother fears the worst.
My question is, how is there no accountability? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been annoyed to order something online, then find a tag on my door saying it could not be delivered because no one was home to sign for it. I mean, how valuable is it really? But when it’s a child, there is no documentation? When I take my oldest to kids’ choir, I have to sign him in and out. I would fully expect the bus driver to ask me to sign an itinerary of some sort, stating my child’s name, the destination, and current time. I mean, in the best scenario, someone should keep tabs on whether the driver is chronically late, and we should be on the same page about which school the child should go to. When the driver gets to the school, the teacher should sign off on each child she is receiving, to take the driver off the hook for possession of children, much like the delivery of a package. No? As the driver, or the teacher, I would WANT such a system, so I’m not caught in a situation where I have to prove I was not responsible for the child at the time.
This is the situation the driver and teacher are in for this sad story I heard tonight. Either could be guilty of something terrible, and the mother can’t trust either of them until they can prove otherwise.
The only scenario in which my child will be taking the bus to school is if I’m in the minivan behind it.