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Bus Stop Issue for Disabled Student

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A Springfield mother started the day in tears over a school bus problem for her disabled son. The day though ended much differently than it began.

Regina Bell lives on Main Street and was under the impression a Springfield school bus would stop there to pick up her disabled son. Instead, the location was moved, creating problems for her large family.

Bell thought she’d be sending her 6-year-old disabled son Rease off on a school bus outside their home Tuesday morning, but that didn’t happen.

“The gal told me that the typical kids would just jump on the bus, and with Rease being in a wheelchair, it will take time, and it could get unsafe because the traffic behind the bus might not wait,” Bell said.

So, the location was moved a couple of blocks away in front of a stranger’s house, forcing Bell to walk the distance with her four children in tow.

“What I did was I took my wrap, I wrapped my baby on me, and then I held my 2-year-old in my hand holding her hand and my 4-year-old holding my hand, and then I pushed the wheelchair with one hand, and it was very stressful,” Bell said.

It was also emotional.

“There were so many people on the street catching the bus, and they were looking at me like what is that lady doing?” Bell said.

“Our primary concern with transporting students is their safety, and we’re concerned that stopping a bus that would require about a five-minute stop on Main Street in a 45-mile-an-hour speed zone could endanger not only her student but the other students on the bus, and so we are committed to finding a solution that works,” said Springfield Public Schools spokesperson Devon Ashbridge.

After our interviews with Bell and the district, KEZI was notified that a solution had been reached and that an aide would pick Rease up and take him home. This way Bell wouldn’t have to make that walk with all of her children again.

“It feels good that it is done. It was stressful. I cried,” Bell said.

Bell says she also didn’t understand why other buses can stop in this location. The district says those likely aren’t their buses and adding a couple of minutes for the wheelchair would likely create that safety hazard.

20 comments

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  1. Regina says:

    Thank you KEZI 9. I think if it was’nt for your involvement, I’d still be having a hard time.

  2. Another Mom says:

    I’m glad they decided to use an aide for transportation. If that sometimes doesn’t work, they can hire a taxi to transport your child. We have done that before, but “they” never tell parents that bit of information. Be sure things like that are in your IEP, to make it easier WHEN something comes up with transportation. Parents often forget to think about the “what if…” type of question in regards to transportation: What if there is early release, late start, road construction, aide gets sick at the last moment, and/or days weather affects transportation. Get it into the IEP.

  3. Sheila Mogstad says:

    I am very pleased with the out come of this story. However I am possitive this is not a permenant solution. What will happen when the wheather changes? Which in Oregon is very often? Is the “Aide” going to Walk Reese the 2 1/2 blocks in the rain?? The School district should have a Disabled van that can come straight to the door and pick him up!! I don’t understand why a school district should punish a child that loves going to school, just because he is in a WheelChair! I would like to add that, THANK YOU, KEZI!!! For airing this story. It defenitly needed to be shared, because I don’t think the school district would have done what they did providing an “Aide” if you hadn’t.

    1. Joseph Campbell says:

      You should re-read the article it states clearly the aide would be picking him up and dropping him off at his home. This way the parent doesn’t have to walk the 2.5 blocks, therefore the child in the wheel chair does not have to either.

      1. Sheila says:

        No, you should re~read the article! The “Aide” will WALK to the 2 1/2 blocks to the bus stop. Which means in any wheather, she will be still walking just like in the video! Think beforeyou speak.

        1. Karen says:

          The article doesn’t say the aide would walk Rease anywhere. I copied this straight from the article.

          “After our interviews with Bell and the district, KEZI was notified that a solution had been reached and that an aide would pick Rease up and take him home. This way Bell wouldn’t have to make that walk with all of her children again.”

          It clearly says that an aide would pick Rease up and take him home. I would assume they mean an aide would drive to pick Rease up because when i hear pick up that’s my first thought. No where does it say walk.

          Maybe you should reread again and think before you speak.

    2. alicyn says:

      I agree! There should be a van with a lift to transport to school. And yes, thank you KEZI for this story. It gets this type of issue the attention it deserves.

  4. Jennifer Richardson says:

    The aide will be doing what she does in the video. The aide will take Rease off the bus and push him home to his family. Regina won’t have to walk with her young kids to drop him off. Regina tells me she will be working with the district to see if any other options are available, but she is happy that in the end the district is having the aide help her out.
    Jennifer
    KEZI 9 News

  5. Regina says:

    The aid dose have to walk the same distance that I was walking. I asked her how she felt about it, she was more then happy to walk him. I do consern that in the winter its gona be super cold. The wind blows really hard from the trafic, also try to remember to keep your bushes trimmed it makes it hard for people in wheel chairs to get by if their grown out. Iam looking into the little bus, Ive seen them around town and they would have plenty of room in my parking lot to get in and out. Thanx
    Regina Bell

  6. Jesse says:

    Did you ever try and talk to the school district about this issue before? My dealings with this district they have been very helpful with my children and I never had to plaster my issues on the news for the whole lane co to see. Another thought where is the father to these four children and why is he not helping out while you go to walk your child to the bus stop? Do you live all by yourself with these four children and have no help? Also why is it you have four children if you have no help? I know a special needs child is much more work, so I ask my self why did you make this choice to care for three more? When apparently you can not provide your special needs child with the proper care by walking him to a safe pick up spot for your child. What I see out here on Main street is people getting run over and dieing from cars. You want a bus to stop four lanes of traffic to unload your kid? That is a huge safety problem, from what I see where you are located you are pretty packed in there with those duplexes that you live in. How on earth would a bus/van get back there safely? Just my thought you made this choice to have three more children and you are out here crying how you have to walk your four kids down the road and what on earth are you doing? People look thats what we do I get looked at when I walk my son down the road you have no idea what they are thinking! Why dont you try being positive while they are looking and thinking “Hey im a momma and doing a great job with my kids” or thinking good stuff not bad. Now EVERYONE in lane co is looking at you. I am proud of this school district to not pickup on main st. Apparently you would rather your son not be safe and have a crying fit for everyone to see. I just do not see why you made this there problem when you were the one that made the choice to have four children.

    1. Sara says:

      Thank you Jesse! Where is mom’s personal responsibility. Why is anyone else’s duty to get her son to school. I mean, she could reasonably argue it’s hard to keep up on laundry and making lunches with all those children she produces, therefore should call the local news to make an issue so someone else can do it for her. I’d rather see the resources of the aid in the classroom, heck maybe she can teach about birth control, public speaking, or how to use spell check.
      If it was so difficult to walk down the street with all those children, why is a good idea to have children board the bus on that street.
      If you choose (and by choice I realize you may not have a lot of options, but breeding was one) to use public assistance and resources to help raise your children because you had too many, and you took your story to the media, be ready for public opinion.

      1. jazzy says:

        If I was in this situation I would of done the same thing she did. As a responsible parent she did everything correct ,she probably chose that location to live for one of many reasons one being the bus pick up there, She took the correct steps and did what she needed to do. Main street is fine to pick up kids, By law when the bus stops all other vehicles have to as well. Who cares if those individuals get upset than plan your day a little a head of time if you know a bus stops at this address at this time.. THAT is being an adult. My children get picked up on a three lane both way road that is 45 mph and there is a disabled child that rides the bus and guess what everyone on both sides of the road STOPS whoa crazy right.. people abiding by the law….. I see nothing wrong with this woman taking care of her family. She said she talked with the school and the bus rout asking why they changed their stops and they said there was nothing they could do. She did the right thing. When media gets involved its amazing what people can accomplished.. Now THAT is what is wrong here. People wont do anything until the media gets their hands in the situation.. I praise you for being a strong mother and doing what is right for your family, You are brave!!

    2. Sheila Williamson says:

      1) It is none of your business where the Father of these kids are Jesse. Perhaps he is a good man who leaves for work at 4am like my husband. 2) You have no right accusing this woman of having too many kids because she has a special needs child. I am the PROUD mother of a special needs child. I also have 3 other kids. I have a husband who leaves the house every morning so I can be a stay at home mother and small business owner. And YES, sometimes it is hard, but it is not YOUR right to say she shouldn’t have had more kids! You don’t know her circumstances. 3) It isn’t called plastering your business, it is called getting HELP (you know the thing you said she doesn’t have. 4) This is EVERYONE’s problem, not just the mother. The school has a responsibility as well. If you were a parent of a special needs child you would understand the fight that we (all parents with special needs children) go through just to get a little normalcy for our children. If the location is unsafe for picking up a special needs child in a wheelchair (with a power lift, like on city buses) then perhaps it is unsafe for ALL of the children getting on the bus.

      I don’t know the street, I don’t the county, I don’t know the mother.. I don’t even live in Oregon. But what I do know is that this is a community issue. Children with special needs have just as many rights as normal children, if not more BECAUSE of their special needs. I am not one to point fingers, or judge, but in this situation I feel the need to say that it is people like you Jesse, who make our fight so much harder. We shouldn’t have to fight for the rights of our children, they are their RIGHTS. But because people like you think you are above them and act as though they don’t deserve to have them, We must fight to tell you… YOU ARE WRONG!! Instead of putting her down, why not try lifting her up and helping her to resolve this issue with the school district you are so proud of? Or are you too good for that???

  7. Donna says:

    Having seen how many cars do not stop for buses or even an ambulance with its flashing lights on, I would be scared to death to have my child picked up on Main Street. With a speed limit of 45 in that area, most people are driving well over 50. I would do whatever I needed to do to have my child picked up on a side street. The fact that I had four children to tend to is not the school district’s fault – it would be mine alone and mine to deal with. I realize special needs children need more care, but there again that would be my problem. My question is why did you feel your only recourse was to contact the news media – did you even call the transportation department and try to work out a solution. I have called them in the past and they have always been very willing to work out a solution. I am also concerned that you seem to be more concerned with people “looking at you” and wondering what they are thinking about you than the safety of your child. As a mom I am not too sure I would want a stranger pushing my child for two blocks to catch a bus, I always wanted to see my children safely on the bus myself. I would really like to hear what the transportation departments side of this story is, as it seems like we are only hearing one side of this story. .

  8. Regina says:

    For starters, my childrens father has a well respected job here in Springfield and he works 60 hours a week. Thats were he is at. And do you know when my son became disabled?? No. You judged and asumed he was born with the disabilitys he has. And did you know it is the law for them to pick him up at our home. You are judging some one that you know nothing about. Do you have a child thats disabled? DO you know what its like?? Its hard. And when tipical kids get some thing that he dosnt how do you think that makes him feel? Im not asking for anything that every one elses kids dont get. The clipping shows the transportations side of the story. It was unsafe. THats it. They have been very kind and helpfull. And I went to the news because thats where the people are. And most people care about each other. Ill pray for you, because it sounds like you have alot of negative in your life, and thats no fun.

  9. Ashley says:

    This is getting out of control! There will always be opinions by others and everyone has a right to that. Just think before you talk. Its an old adage but one that needs to be followed more closely. She as the “Mom” is making the best decision for her son. “Hers” not anyone else’s. Your a great mom and you fight for your kids. Keep pushing towards what you feel is right. Your doing great!

  10. Regina says:

    LTD picks up wheel chairs all the time. And I said they were looking at me trying to figure out what I was doing comeing from no where and standing infront of some random house. THey were staring trying to figure out what I was doing. It was embarassing. And to they lady who called me a breader, YOu know for sure all those kids are mine??? Your sure Im just a breader? How do you there wasnt an accident where I had to adopt a family bembers kid? And you asume Im on a public assistance. Iam not. The other children get picked up at our duplexes. And the school told me there was nothing they could do. Iam working on other arangements. I dont want my son to go that far in the winter it will be too dangerous. Your judgment has really upset me. If I were to meet you on the street, Id be that person that would help you. Iam vey kind. I work in the medical field and save lifes for a living. So while you sit here and decide to “type up my life” (They way you want to see it) Im a good person and dont deserve to be slammed. I never slammed anybody I told the news reporter from the very begining that the transportation people were very kind to me. And for your uneducated opinion, this had nothing to do with the school. THey were didnt think it was apropriate for us to walk there either. THey also conatced transportation about it not being ok. So think before you speak. And this is the real me. Everyone knows who Iam, who even knows if you have children, I could judge you and asume, you are a bad man, who abuses the welfare system and sits at your computer all day, but I dont judge people, especialy ones I know nothing about, like I said I will pray for you.

  11. Grandma to a special child says:

    http://www.kezi.com/bus-stop-issue-for-disabled-student/

  12. Sarah says:

    So, after reading the article and resounding comments I am kind of at a loss of how to respond.
    Number 1- Who is anyone to judge how she dealt with her problem, she dealt with it and was proactive for her child…that is a whole lot more then a large amount of parents out there try to do!
    Number 2- To call out her choice to have as many kids as she does is disgusting. You have no idea what her life is like and to judge her with no knowledge is disturbing.
    Number 3- She did not call out the transportation office’s choice not to pick up on main street, she called out making her son, and her, go so far out of her normal routine and to put her and her children in danger just so Reese can ride the bus!
    So my advice to all you naysayers, go back to the drawing board, and respond with the general respect every human being deserves, and do not try to put words in Ms. Bell’s mouth, and who knows, maybe then someone will take two seconds to actually consider your response with out discounting you as a prissy, know it all who looks down on anyone they consider to not be in the same class.
    Thanks for reading my response,
    peace and humor to all
    Sarah

  13. Denver says:

    I think what she did took alot of guts. Im impressed. High five to the haters.

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