Every parent shudders that first time you hand your child over to another caregiver, whether it be day care or the first day of school. Putting a child on a school bus is another milestone that definitely makes me want to turn back the clock. After all, I used to ride the bus and know what other kids are capable of when unsupervised.
While we all might fear the worst once our child is out of our sight, no one actually expects something as tragic as this story out of LA: A disabled 3-year-old was found dead on a school bus last week, and no one knows why. Kevin Cisler was discovered by another parent of a child on the bus when she picked up her child and saw the little boy slumped over in his wheelchair. She called 911, but the boy was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital.
I hate to start throwing blame around, but, really, how could this have happened? Was no one concerned about a disabled 3-year-old without a caregiver present?
An autopsy report came back inconclusive, so there's no help there. The initial news report said the school bus was being taken into evidence to see if there had been an accident (even though the bus driver said there hadn't been) that could have caused the death of the 3-year-old. No statement has been issued from the bus driver, but it's clear the driver either didn't notice or wasn't concerned about the state of the little boy.
Also no word on why a toddler is riding a school bus. Perhaps that's just the helicopter parent in me I often try to smother, but I can't imagine putting a 3-year-old on a bus without anyone there to make sure he was okay. Especially a disabled child. I'm sure his parents are feeling the same way right now.
Even though bus accidents are rare (although bus bullying isn't), I still want to drive my kids to school as long as I can. A lack of supervision doesn't mean your child won't survive, but this child didn't. I hope the family can get some answers soon, and they have some peace.
Do you let your littlest ones ride the bus?
Image via Cast a Line/Flickr