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A few points:

  1. Realistically, EVERY bus transporting special needs students needs to have an aide on board.
  2. We have often asked audiences who the most important person in the daily life of a special needs child is. The answer we always suggest is the bus driver on grounds that if the bus ride is bad the day usually will be a disaster.
  3. In this case the problems are (a) no aide on-board (b) a driver who clearly went off the rails and (c) the aide who did approach the bus should have intervened.
  4. Even when the people all function well there are mechanical failures, traffic, medical emergencies …
  5. Then there’s the problem that the students might be actively reluctant to get on the bus in the future.
  6. There’s a bit of an inability to scale at issue here: if the student is 6’5″ and 275 pounds I doubt trying to take away the backpack would end well.
  7. The comment I wrote was “There are already over 200 genes (24,000 protein coding genes) in almost 100 named syndromes on all 23 chromosomes implicated in autism spectrum disabilities so we’re not persuaded even autism spectrum is a very useful term. That said, by some standards one could say Gates, Mozart and Newton had autism spectrum disabilities. Germany isolated and killed special needs individuals at Hadamar, Spiegelgrund and other T4 facilities – that was not a bright moment in human history. On a much smaller scale, neither was this incident.”
  8. The question to answered by a school bus driver, a school district or a society is ‘do you have currency, compassion and courage to deal with the weakest members of your cultural group – the old, the very young, the poor, and in this case, the disabled’?