Kids Need Safe Places
By Michael Coleman, Special Education Bus Driver from Eugene, OR
I have been a driver and aide for special education children for over 25 years. During that time, I’ve seen our professional understanding of how to support students’ success increase, but have also seen a large decrease in the resources to accomplish it. I believe the outcome is that our children lose until we do something differently.
It is so ludicrous to me that we are actually in this situation with something that is so dynamically important to our society and people.
I’m also very concerned that all students have a safe place for their education, including the bus trip back and forth to school. I believe there is a real contradiction between what we want for children and the laws we’ve created to accomplish it.
We need the resources to better support our students. I know of situations in which students have opened the emergency exits in the back of buses and exited, or in which children have run away from school when outside of the building.
I believe we need to cultivate ways to respectfully engage with students in these situations.
Is that complicated? Is it difficult? Absolutely! Do we need to address it? Yes!
Michael Coleman is a special education bus driver and aide in the Bethel School District.