Left at the Curb

I had another painful experience today.  But this time it didn’t involve one of my children.  But it sure could have been one of mine!

I arrived at Elliot’s school around 9:00 this morning to pick him up for a chiropractor appointment.  There were at least 8 buses lined up in front of the school.  And as I made my way into the building to sign Elliot out, all of the 8th graders were heading down the sidewalk towards the buses.  With the group of 8th graders was a girl who is in a wheelchair that I have noticed several times before.  I always see her daddy bring her to school and pick her up in the afternoons.

Anyway, all the 8th graders and their teachers quickly moved to their assigned buses and headed on their way.

I signed Elliot out at the office and then stepped outside to wait on him.  I watched the last of the buses pull out of the parking lot, heading out on the 8th grade field trip.

I was surprised to see the girl in the wheelchair still waiting at the end of the sidewalk.  No one was with her except the school secretary.  I quickly realized that someone had forgotten to order a wheelchair bus when they set up transportation for this field trip.  And every single one of this girl’s friends were well on their way, enjoying each other’s presence on the bus together.  No one had thought to order a wheelchair bus, and no one had thought to grab a handful of students to stick around and ride the bus with this student.

So because this girl is dependent on a wheelchair, she was going to have to ride all alone, accompanied only by the school secretary.  How many 8th graders do you know who would think that was fun??!!

The secretary and the 8th grade girl waited nearly 10 minutes for a wheelchair bus to arrive.  (Thankfully the school is close to the bus barn!)  The bus driver got out of the bus to let down the wheelchair lift but she couldn’t get it to work.  After another 5 minutes or so, Elliot came out and was ready to go.  We left to go to the chiropractor.  The bus driver was still losing her battle with the wheelchair lift.  And the girl still sat at the curb in her wheelchair . . . and all of her friends were 15 minutes down the road.

Un. be. lieve. able!



12 responses to this post.

  1. This makes my heart hurt and infuriates me all at the same time!


  2. Wow, how insensitive of the school! You’d think that getting all the kids on the bus safely would’ve been their top priority, how the heck did they manage to forget something so important? Definitely unbe-frickin’-lievable.


    • Hi, Rachel. I know. Hard to believe it could happen!! Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. I enjoyed hopping over to your blog. Looks like you had a MUCH happier bus ride recently! 🙂


  3. Wow, I’m speechless. I hope her parents hear about this and set the school straight.


    • I know, Debbi. I was trying to figure out if I should introduce myself to her daddy and tell him what happened. Hopefully she’ll go home and tell him . . . . but I don’t know. It was so painful to watch!


  4. Posted by Sara W. on September 23, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    I think you should tell her dad. I would want to know FOR SURE and I think it would be encouraging for a parent to know that someone else noticed it as well. Sickening.


    • Ok. Thanks for saying that, Sara. I’ll work on my courage over the weekend and plan to approach him next week. Thanks! Sickening is right.


  5. I can just see that…I’m sure she tried to be tough but inside she was crying. I’ll bet her parents tried to figure out how to fix it after the fact but really couldn’t. God saw her though and so did you.


    • Yes, Esther. She was being so brave on the outside! And her parents were not even aware that it happened — no parents were there. Pitiful.


  6. Posted by Audrey on September 28, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    There was a similar situation in a nearby county. A class of 3rd or 4th graders went to Chicago for their class field trip. They were to take the Amtrak and somehow no one thought to make arrangements for a little boy in a wheelchair. He missed the trip. His mother contacted the news media. Unfortunately, the general consensus (from comments on the news media) was that if the mother wanted him included in the trip, she should have taken him herself. That she was a problem parent. That she should just accept the fact that her son is in a wheelchair and therefore unable to participate in events like other kids his age.

    Feel bad for the young lady whose needs weren’t considered as the trip planning was carried out. It really is unbelievable. Hopefully the school can learn from their oversight and mistake.


    • Wow, Audrey! Crazy story. Bless the little boy’s heart and his mama’s heart! Crazy that the public’s take was that harsh and off-base! Yes, surely the school learns each time they do something like this . . . .


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