Can public schools refuse to transport a child with E?

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Hi all!
We finally got our son into preschool, and he is set to start Friday, and I just got a call from the school saying the bus driver isn't comfortable transporting my son because he might have a seizure. This isn't the regular school bus, this is the special needs bus. The school then offered to reimburse me .50 a mile to transport my son myself. I am new to all of this and have no idea who to ask or where to look to see if this is even legal. Doesn't the school have to provide transportation to all children? I offered to come teach the driver and aide how to use his VNS, and they refused. Help!
I think it may depend on the state or district what the policy is. But gosh, it seems like they ought to be able to transport your son. Maybe it's a liability issue?
One of the issues is that they previously had a student with E and a VNS who rode the bus. They also transport students that are on ventilators.
Well in that case, definitely be persistent -- start with the head of the school, and escalate as needed -- superintendent, social services/special needs advocates, local media...

A special needs bus that won't transport a child because of his special needs???? I find that rather perturbing!

Is there a school supervisor you can go to?

My next question is why would someone who is uncomfortable around certain special needs be in charge of transporting children with special needs.
its a special needs bus. I am sure that the driver is trained to deal with those sorts of incidences. and if not there should be an attendant on th bus that does. ANY special needs stupid can have a medical emergency at anytime. especially the ones on ventilators. what if the ventilator dies, and the child stops breathing? little harder to deal with than a child having a seizure.

What a jerk of a driver. Phone the school board and the division board, and if need be the Minister of Education for your state or province
Actually, it depends on what is written into the IEP. If your child has an IEP and transportation is written into it, then the district must provide transportation for your son. If not, then they can ask you to accept reimbursement. However, if they do that, then they open themselves up to the possibility of lawsuit due to discrimination against a child with a disability. In the US, most school districts will change drivers rather then get sued for ADA violation.
Thanks guys...we will get on the phone first thing in the morning and start making calls. We talked about transportation when we made the IEP, so it's in there. Will keep you posted on what we find out.
Driver Drives - where's the AIDE?

Of note, as you implied, if it is written in the IEP, it does not
matter if the Driver feels comfortable or not - what I am
concerned is --- the Driver Drives the Bus. They have an
Aide on the Bus. The Aide monitors the Students.

SO EXACTLY what is the problem is my question?


That would be the Aide's responsibly ... not the Driver.

Trust me, I am slightly bewildered over this one - I had IEP,
and while I was on the Special Ed Bus, but because by reason
I attended regular school, I opt to elect to ride with everyone
else on the regular School Bus ---- after all, I didn't have to get
up so early in the morning....


PS: I got a chance to blabber off with my neighborhood friends,
and yes, even back then they had "names" for it - it was called
"Short Bus" ... as discriminating as it was.

Just an update:
The school refuses to budge. The IEP clearly states that they are to provide transportation. When I pointed this out, they told me "we are providing transportation, we are paying YOU to do it!" They also told me that they want us to drive him until the school "gets to know him" (how this will help the driver or aide I'm not entirely sure.) We got a contract in the mail saying that we will be providing transportation for the remainder of the school year.


They now refuse to return my phone calls. :mad:

I just contacted The Epilepsy Foundation Legal Defense Team. Hopefully they can help.

Who votes that I go to the press??:e:
aargh! I vote for the press!
I vote for press. because there have been and are other students on this bus with similar, exact and worse needs than your son. The school OFFERED to pay you. an offer can be refused. I say to also leave a nasty message saying that you are taking them to court. and for them to prepare for a letter from your lawyer. The contact states that they will provide transportation. the whole reason for this, is that you are not able to conveinently transport him yourself. If you were, then you would have been driving him already.

That also set aside. 50 cents a mile is nothing! There are shipping company's that charge $4.00 a mile.

The press will be happy to take on this offer. Just don't slander it. Don't say that the school has a bad rep or anything, then they can sue you. Just state the facts. They refused to transport your child, when there are children in the same or worse situation on the bus. It says it in the IEP, so its their responisbilty. How can they assume you have a vehicle anyway?
I vote that you go to the press. Also, get an attorney, and file a complaint with your state department of education. Since special ed law is based on civil rights law, they are violating your childs civil rights by refusing to abide by the IEP. They cannot arbitrarily change the terms of the IEP regarding transportation. The only way they could change it, would be to hold an amendmnt meeting (to which you must be invited). At this point, sign NOTHING. Make copies of all of your papers, emails, logs of phone calls and people spoken with, and give it to a lawyer.
My son takes a special needs bus as well. What they told me was if there is an "incident" of any sort, the bus driver pulls over and calls emergency backup. The bus driver and aide don't do anything else. that I think about this more, maybe I should drive my son to school:ponder:.

My son has multiple food allergies and absence seizures. Luckily, no food eating allowed on the bus...but the seizures...what if he had something more severe happen???
I was in special education my whole school career up until college of course. I rode the "special bus" as most would call it- hehe. We had all sorts of kids on there. My twin and I are deaf-blind and we required sighted guide assistance off the bus and to the building- then we continued on our own way. Other kiddos on there had Epilepsy or other medical conditions. On girl Kim on my bus, has severe Epilepsy and uses a VNS- she was allowed to go to school just like the rest of us. She had an attendant that would meet her at the door. She has autism and is unable to be totally independent. Anyway- I remember when I first met her- I was scared to death that she would have a seizure. Although I have seizures myself- I never had a grand-mal seizure whereas she did. She had every type of seizure I've ever heard of.. Anyway the bus driver told me to be calm and that if anything happened that they would take care of her.
On our bus, we always had two people and the driver- two aids that is.
On special needs busses, they write up your medication conditions and if you provide a seizure plan, or behavior plan- that bus driver is provided with instructions or the aids are given this information to use in case of emergencies.
I would definitely let the school know about the bus driver refusing first-aid training. They receive this anyway! I would ask the supervisor of the transportation dept. of the school about the regulations, rules, other information about transporting children with epilepsy. If he has an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) then a seizure plan should be drawn up. A copy is usually sent to the teacher and the bus driver or their aids.

Our aids were very aware of our conditions. Several times we were asked "Are you okay Crystal? You with us?" if I was not answering them or looking odd as if a seizure was about to happen. Usually I was okay and didn't need any help. The aid that was with Danielle and I actually had a son with Epilepsy and knew how to handle a seizure, no matter if it was a GM or a CP. I had to teach or explain a little about my type seizures and what they looked like- so she could look out for them.

Anyway- I would talk to someone in authority over the trans. dept. and let them know that your child should be allowed transportation to school and back home.

As long as I have been in special ed, riding special needs busses- there has always been a child with epilepsy riding with us. I have never heard of someone not being allowed. Kim, my friend has severe seizures and she was allowed equally.

Please take care.
The school called this morning and let us know they are having the school nurse ride on the bus (in addition to the aide) back and forth to school with Aidan until they get to know him and are more comfortable with his "situation" They are even going so far as to have the nurse drive to our home every morning, drop off her car here, and pick it back up in the afternoon!
We were floored to hear this! The school said they would reevaluate having the nurse on the bus soon but for now they would rather err on the side of caution. Hey, I'm all for that.
Thanks guys for your support and encouraging words. I might have just let it go, but I want him to have as normal a life as possible, and that includes riding the bus "like a big boy"
Yay! Keep us posted, this sounds like a great start.
Good stuff!

I'm also very glad to hear it worked out.

Maybe I'm just over-reacting but I would be concerned with the drivers lack of/training or ability to deal with an urgent situation if s/he is uncomfortable with just the possibility of a seizure.
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