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School bus incident

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Gomod71, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Gomod71

    Gomod71 Approved members

    Oct 10, 2007
    Need some constructive feedback please.

    DS is in 8th grade - this year he has a new bus driver for our bus route (though she is a long time driver for our school system).

    Before school started, I called contracted bus company, spoke to the manager to notify her of DS' diabetes (as I cannot trust that school will release info to them). Manager told me who the bus drivers were for our routes, assured me she'd take care of it.

    School Day #2 and DS is low before they even pull out of school parking lot. Driver sees him eating (treating low) and scolds him for eating. He says he has diabetes and his sugar is low, she gives him a hard time ("So you have a note? The nurse will verify this?" then "you're not lying are you?") - then asks another student if my son is lying.

    Of course I'm angry and frustrated. Bus company manager dropped the ball and didn't communicate it to the driver. I don't appreciate the way the driver treated my son and the other student. I'm trying to be level headed and realize that the driver is probably used to kids lying to her. But I feel her actions/behavior were uncalled for.

    I called the school to report the incident. I did ask that the driver apologize to my son and the other student. Is that enough? Should I let it go and chalk it up to a mistake?

    This school is famous for poor communication, and apparently our contracted bus service is as well (according to another driver who confided in me off the record).

    What would you do? What would you expect?

  2. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Nov 20, 2007
    Since you bypassed the school originally and went right to the bus company, I am wondering why you did not direct your concern to them after the incident?

    As for the apology, it is really up to you if you feel that is appropriate and if the driver apologizes, will that feel like it is enough to satisfy you. No one here can tell you that.

    For me, if the bus company did not make the driver aware, it is hard to fault the driver for trying to follow the rules. Could they have been nicer? Sure. But I would place the responsibility where it belongs, on the bus company and not the driver.

    Good luck.
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    Mine rarely takes the bus what with afterschool sports and we're first stop in the AM making it crazy early but she has and she will again so...

    I might focus more on having a brief meeting with the driver out of earshot of your son. Hard to schedule, but it might be better than focusing on an apology which may just put her on the defensive.

    I really think that bus drivers need to understand a little something about lows. Buses break down, buses are delayed, they have minor fender benders in New England winters that can leave a bus full of kids stuck on the bus for hours so I would focus on getting her to understand about treating lows over getting her to be a better person:cwds:

    And I would come down hard on the person who was supposed to communicate the information from the bus company to the driver.

    Good luck!
  4. DavidN

    DavidN Approved members

    Sep 7, 2012
    I would be happy with a sincere apology. The bus driver clearly made a mistake and your child was understandably hurt. An apology tells your child that he was not wrong in feeling hurt, which I think is important.
  5. KatieSue

    KatieSue Approved members

    Oct 5, 2010
    If the driver wasn't informed that your son was allowed to eat she was just basically following her rules of no eating on the bus. Yes she could have been nicer but I'm not sure she's the one who should apologize if she had no idea. It would be nice if she did but I'm not sure she did anything wrong. The supervisor who didn't communicate the information should probably be the one to say sorry.

    My daughter doesn't ride the bus but she did have a teacher get after her once in front of the whole class for eating. It was apparently this particular teachers pet peeve. My daughter said I have to I'm diabetic and the teacher backed off. The teacher did pull her aside after class and apologized, she had just forgotten she was diabetic. With so many kids in/out of classrooms and buses I'd have a hard time remembering who needed what myself.
  6. shannong

    shannong Approved members

    Sep 15, 2012
    I can see the bus driver initially telling a kid they can't eat, but when your son tells the driver he has diabetes and needs to eat sugar for a low and they still proceed to believe they are lying. What kid would make that up? I think the bus driver was way out of line.
  7. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    This needs to be addressed to the driver's supervisor. The driver did nothing wrong as she has rules she has to follow.

    The bus company didn't follow up as they said they would.
  8. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    I agree with the others, that it was really the Manager's fault and not the driver's. If the driver has never been exposed to Type !, then she may not have known the importance of eating.

    I do want to add this bit of advice: Put it in the 504 that your son cannot get on the bus if he is under a certain level. Ours was 9 - she had to go to the nurse and test 10 minutes before school got out when she was in elementary school.
  9. Gomod71

    Gomod71 Approved members

    Oct 10, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback everyone.

    I think my biggest problem (aside from bus comp mgr not telling her driver) is the way in which my son was treated.

    I'm trying to be fair - the driver has probably seen it all in her day. I might be over sensitive, but to accuse my son of lying, and then to question another student just seems to be way over the top.

    I'm waiting to see how the school handles the bus company on this before I do anything further. I do plan on following up with the manager directly regardless - just waiting until I'm a bit more rational and not so ticked off. :rolleyes:
  10. Megnyc

    Megnyc Approved members

    Nov 8, 2012
    In my opinion, at the minimum I would expect apologies (both formally written as well as in person) from the bus company and bus driver as well as disciplinary action against the bus driver. I would also want to know what their plan was to ensure this doesn't happen again or to another kid. Regardless of what the driver knows/doesn't know about type 1 it was completely inappropriate for him to ask another student about your son's medical condition.
  11. caspi

    caspi Approved members

    Oct 11, 2006
    Your beef should mainly be with the person that failed to advise the driver that your son has Type 1. That's a HUGE error on their part. I'm not condoning the bus driver's comments, but I'm sure in her years of doing this she's heard every excuse in the book and she also needs to show authority when dealing with junior high/high schoolers. If she's seen as a softie, they will walk all over her.
    I would chock it up to a misunderstanding and perhaps you can give her a sheet of information (short and sweet) explaining what a low is and what he needs to do to treat it.

    As someone else said above, having him test 10-15 minutes prior to getting on the bus is really ideal. This is what my son does so he has a chance to get that low up. Of course, if he still feels low he is able to treat on the bus.

    I'm sure it will all work out. :cwds:
  12. TheLegoRef

    TheLegoRef Approved members

    Nov 13, 2011
    I type up a note and give it to my son's bus driver directly. I don't trust that the info will get from the school to the driver.

    My son has been in a similar situation, and same thing, other kids backed him up. We just ignored it and moved on, we didn't ask for an apology or anything.

    The bus driver did let your child eat, correct? I wouldn't be angry at the bus driver, but yes I would be annoyed at the person that did not let the driver know.
  13. Mish

    Mish Approved members

    Aug 20, 2009
    Your son is in 8th grade. How does HE want it handled?

    Mine would sooner crawl under the bus and be run over before letting me demand an apology. Sometimes it's best to just reiterate his needs, or let him do it, and then walk away. Like someone else said, the bus driver has probably heard every excuse under the son, and 8th grade boys on a bus are probably the most vile things ever. So, I'd give the driver a pass.
  14. ChaosRules

    ChaosRules Approved members

    Aug 20, 2013
    I agree with Mish. Your son must have been rattled by the incident because he told you about it. But maybe all he needed to feel better was seeing how angry you got on his behalf!

    My son is the same as Mish's - and he would have been mortified at that age (and now!) if I made the driver apologize to him, especially in front of the other kids. But every person is different, and maybe that's what your son wants from the driver. I'd make the solution about what he needs to make him feel better about the incident, and try to be satisfied yourself with whatever he wants to have happen at this point.

    It may just be me and my paranoia, but I'd worry that if the driver were made to apologize, she might end up feeling resentful towards him, especially if she were called out by her supervisor because of it. It's just the beginning of the school year, so he has a long time to ride with her on the bus.

    Good luck. I hate when things like this happen. As if having diabetes isn't hard enough on a kid!
  15. jdeckhoff

    jdeckhoff New Member

    Jun 14, 2011
    My son is also in 8th grade this year and we had it put in doctor's orders that he is to test at end of school day before getting on the bus (he is allowed to leave his last class five minutes early). Twice in the last eight years the nurse felt he was too low to ride the bus and stayed with him at school until I arrived to pick him up.
  16. ksartain

    ksartain Approved members

    Dec 21, 2012
    We also have in my son's plan that he cannot get on the bus if he is under 100. His low starts at 90.

    I work in a school system. I can understand the bus driver questioning the diabetes, even now as a parent of one. Kids will say anything to not get in trouble. We had one girl who constantly told her PE teacher that her blood sugar was low and she needed a snack, so he let her go into the cafeteria to get something. The girl was not even diabetic but had been buying snacks for her friends for weeks before the cafeteria manager finally questioned it.

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