The Short Bus

The “special ed kids working in the cafeteria” thread got me wondering … in schools where the “special” childred are mainstreamed with the rest of the student body, they still had to ride a short yellow bus to school, instead of hopping on the big bus with those who weren’t “mentally challenged.” Why can’t the “special” children ride the same bus as the kids who are “normal?”

I think the short buses have somone besides the driver onboard to take care of the kids. They also have wheelchair lifts and seatbelts(I think), unlike the normal buses.

My friend has a sister that’s legally blind, and she says she used to get so embarassed when people would see her sister getting off the short bus.

I think part of it is to protect them from other kids (though I agree the main reason is no doubt wheelchair lifts and better supervision). The bus seeemed to be the place where you were most likely to be picked on.

I had to ride the short bus home from High School because it was the only bus that stopped near my house.

At least I rode it for awhile. For some reason–I was banned from riding it after the first few days. (Some legality thing. Probably because I wasn’t disabled or retarded.)

So I ended up walking miles home every day.

Sometimes in the sweltering desert heat…

Sometimes in the cold, unforgiving winds and rain…

There’s nothing like walking over 2 miles home along a lonely man-made storm drain through the wasteland in the El Nino rainfall…

I need more sleep. I’m getting grouchy. Why did I bring this up, anyway?

Oh yea–the short bus.

I assume that with myself being an unlucky exception since my high school was fulla dickheads–some people do ride the short bus without being disabled or retarded. I’ve also noticed that the short bus is the only one with seatbelts. Go figure.

-Ashley

Here’s an article written by a real-life short bus rider:

http://www.theonion.com/onion3631/drive_short_bus_myself.html

: I think part of it is to protect them from other kids
: (though I agree the main reason is no doubt wheelchair
: lifts and better supervision). The bus seeemed to be the
: place where you were most likely to be picked on.

I have my doubts about whether that’s the real reason or not. Hey, kids get teased in school if they do ride the short bus, after all, and look how the phrase “short bus” is incorporated into insults nowadays. If teasing were a factor for bus segregation, you would think that there’s be a geek bus, a goth bus, a fat bus, and so on.

In the suburbs of my home town, the big yellow school bus had wheelchair lifts for the kids that needed them, and the blind kids had their own schools. The short buses were exclusively the domain of the “special” kids.

My mother used to work as a matron on the buses for the kids with CP, or who were blind, disabled, or whatever. She worked on regular and short buses. The regular buses tended to have the wheelchair lifts.

I think it has a lot to do with the population of a given area and the number of kids who would need seperate transportation. I grew up in NYC, so with more people, you would have more kids who needed extra attention than a smaller city. Hence the greater number of long buses.

They provide seperate buses because it usually takes longer to get kids on and off. Also, the regular buses can take routes to pick up and drop off kids in the same area. The “special” kids are usually from all over a given area.

The short bus in my town is used primarily to shuttle all the “crips” (for lack of a better term) to school. I can’t imagine what kind of abuse they’d have to put up with if they took normal buses to school.

Kids are cruel, don’t forget it.