New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

WCBS Radio Parent's Nightmare: Special Needs Student Stuck On Bus For 10 Hours by WCBS Radio

Parent's Nightmare: Special Needs Student Stuck On Bus For 10 Hours

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — It was nightmare scenario for some parents of special needs children during the storm Thursday night.

The text came in at 9:45 p.m., said Councilmember Ben Kallos.

A mother worried that her child never made it home from school contacted him, desperate for answers.

“We left pre-kindergarten students in special education on a bus for ten hours, without a bathroom, without food, without their parents," Kallos said.

He explained he was horrified and immediately called Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.

“They reached out to the police. We got the kid rescued. We got the kid in the hands of his mother by midnight," Kallos said.

The weather was one thing, but Kallos said the bus route was also so convoluted that it would have taken three hours to get this student home on a good day.

"The bus driver did his best to be responsive, but was set up for failure by the Department of Education forcing him to drive a bus route with 22 children spanning multiple boroughs, regularly taking 3 hours to get home, a direct violation of one child's doctor’s orders according to a parent,” Kallos said in a statement.

The councilmember noted that precious time was also wasted just trying to find out where the bus was stranded.

"I introduced legislation that would require every public school bus to have a GPS,” Kallos announced.

After the nightmares during Thursday night’s commute, New York City Schools were open Friday and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza warned parents to expect delays on some school bus routes.

Carranza said the city was working to get all students to and from school safely and in a timely manner.

Though, Kallos felt enough wasn’t being done.

"We should not need emergency services to rescue our children from school buses. Parents should not spend hours panicking without knowing where their children are. We should not have to scramble to find out where a school bus is, at the mercy of whether a driver gives parents their personal mobile phone number,” the councilmember said.

Seth Jonas, whose child also goes to a special education school, said his son was trapped on a bus for more than six hours Thursday.

"They literally were by exit 23 in the Bronx for an hour barely moving and got home at 9:30," Jonas said.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, some school kids in West Orange never made it home because of the horrible weather conditions. They were stranded at their school all night and watched the movie Frozen.


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