After I got on the bus and took the frickin’ pink sign down, I penned this to the principal and AP in charge of transportation…..
My son, Movie Boy is a 7th grader who rides Bus 66. He does not have any accommodations in his IEP requiring special seating on the bus. Movie Boy has had a successful year—he has good behavior, attendance, and grades.
In spite of this, the bus driver has assigned him a seat at the front of the bus, and placed a pink placard above it labeled “Movie Boy”. My understanding is that this happened about a month ago. I was not aware of it until today.
The bus driver tells me that all students are assigned seats by grade – 6th grade in the front, 7th grade in the middle, 8th grade in the back. However, this rule does not apply to Movie Boy who is required by her to sit at the front of the bus under his pink name placard for all the kids to see. This morning, while I was talking to the bus driver about this, a 6th grader entered the bus with her breakfast in hand and walked to the back of the bus and took a seat.
The students don’t act in a manner that indicates that rules are being enforced. They seem comfortable eating on the bus and sitting outside of the assigned grade areas. While the bus driver does not enforce the grade level assignments for the other students, she does enforce the assigned seat for Movie Boy.
The bus driver said Mr. T instructed her to implement this arrangement. Mr. T says that this is not under his control. It is not clear to me when this arrangement was implemented or who initiated it, but it is clearly not in the best interest of my child or in alignment with his educational program. Movie Boy’s case manager was also not aware this had been implemented.
Additionally, Movie Boy’s assigned seat is in close proximity to the bus driver’s 3-year-old grandson. This has been problematic as Movie Boy has OCD and has difficulty tolerating the personal hygiene and behaviors of small children. The child also cries and screams and this is difficult for a child like Movie Boy who has sensory difficulties.
I am concerned that Movie Boy is being singled out because of his disability and is not being treated in an equitable manner as the other students on the bus.
Assigning him a seat when other children are not assigned seats in the same manner is discriminatory.
Putting a placard with his name over his assigned seat is highly stigmatizing and a breach of confidentiality.
In the past several weeks, Movie Boy has been very reluctant to ride the bus because he is highly embarrassed by the situation.
Please let me know how you intend to remedy this situation so that my child can have unrestricted access to school transportation and a successful experience.