Yes, Can I say it again. I hate the short bus. I hate what is represents. I hate what it is called. And I hate when my child has to ride on it!!
Why? Because it screams you are different. It separates you from the few friends you have. You get dropped off away from your peers. Your friends have to find you. You miss out on the social opportunities that come from riding the bus with your peers.
When Mel was 4 a friend attempted to get the school to put wheelchair lifts on all buses. She went the legal route and after 18 months was told by the judge that she had a good case. BUT… She went through the wrong legal processes AND.. If she started over… to base her case on this or that. REALLY. Needless to say, she did not win the legal battle and my Mel has ridden the wheelchair bus for 18 years. She tried and for that I am thankful. You have to pick your battles and I applaud her efforts.
Fourteen years late, Mel is a senior. And she is riding a separate, lift bus. So many challenges, this was a battle I could not fight.
I did what I could to make it better. I put wording in her 504 paper work to never call me because the bus for the trip was not accessible. The only thing worse than riding the short bus was riding in mom’s car. The only thing worse than riding the short bus was riding it alone. Can you believe that some teachers are so set in their ways that every kid must ride in their assigned seat even though you have an extra bus with only one child on board? Hear this mom ROAR!!! Yes, that was then added to the wording.
Well, as you can guess, today was a class trip day. Today, all the seniors were headed to the senior picnic. 32 busses were sitting out side the school. I heard the lift bus called “The special bus”, “The extra bus” and started to tear up. I knew where my girl was going to have to sit. Yes, every bus was labeled: Cheer, Football, Choir, Tennis, FFA, and such. No large papers on the “Extra Bus” No celebration of a club. It was sitting last, and apart from the rest. My heart sank. The things we parents find that trigger the tears.
My child was once again not sitting with her peer. She was once again one of the “special kids”. Once again missing out on the social opportunites she so craves. Her bus as labeled “Choir” On yea, that was not a bus with a lift.
Yes, I am thankful she gets to go. I am thankful she gets to graduate. Thankful she can go forward from here and attend college.
BUT I STILL HATE THE SHORT BUS.