Perhaps it’s because I put my son on a school bus for those with special needs for several years and trusted that he would return home to me safely each day. But I’m hard pressed to find an answer or excuse good enough to explain how a New York bus driver/caretaker could possibly leave a 22-year-old passenger with cerebral palsy and wheelchair on a school bus in sub-zero weather.
But that’s what apparently happened to Edwin Rivera of Manhattan, who has cerebral palsy and lacks speech. Rivera spent 19 hours on an unheated bus in Brooklyn after he was left alone. Rivera was found after being reported missing by family, and is expected to survive the ordeal. There has been an arrest in the case, but big questions remain. At the very least, it should be mandatory for all drivers to do a complete walk through of buses before they are left for the day.
Adults in wheelchairs are tough to miss.
I can’t imagine what this experience must have been like for this young man dependent upon others for his mobility, safety and voice. My heartfelt best wishes go out to Edwin and his family. I would have been beside myself and loudly demanding answers had this happened to my son.
I can’t imagine an excuse good enough to explain this inhumane event. People often question why parents of children with special needs are so protective and ever vigilant.
Here’s one glaring example why.
We can do better.