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.