No More Mr. Nice Guy

On Friday, Ryan’s school bus never showed up. It was the first day of a new route, meant to ease congestion and delays. Seems nobody told the bus driver.

As I recounted here, Ryan decompensated. By the time a neighbor drove him to school, after some 50 minutes of waiting, he was in full meltdown.

I made many phone calls Friday. I spoke to the principal. I spoke to someone at the transportation department. I spoke to the head of the transportation department. Twice. I was assured the situation was going to be fixed. I was told by the head of transportation that she would be coming into the office Monday, a holiday in our district, to mail new bus passes personally. I was given assurances of the new pickup and drop off times and locations.

I was polite to everyone. I believe you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. But I was firm. I closed the last call with the transportation director by saying, “I hope I’m not speaking to you again soon. I can assure you I will not be as polite next time.”

She chuckled, but I was 100% serious. I will not let administrative incompetence destroy the educational plan we have carefully constructed for my child. She may not understand what it means for a child on the autism spectrum and with an anxiety disorder to wait for a bus that may or may not come, but she will by the time our phone conversation is complete.

No bus pass came yesterday (also a school holiday). Another call was placed to transportation. We were assured the new time would be in effect today.

Guess what didn’t show up this morning? Well, to clarify, it didn’t show up by 20 minutes after the scheduled pickup. We decided we would not allow Ryan to suffer any longer than that. It’s not fair to him. He can’t possibly function effectively if his day starts with a meltdown. So he was driven to school.

And so the calls will begin again this morning. To the transportation director. To the principle. To the superintendent. To the mayor.

I will maintain my composure. In will not turn into Samuel L. Jackson from Pulp Fiction.

But my voice will be heard. Loudly. Clearly. Repeatedly.

We pay too much in taxes and too many people have put too much time and effort and care into Ryan’s education for it all to be undone by a bus route.

Stay tuned.

Note: Thank you to those of you that provided helpful comments on Friday’s post. Just to clarify, Ryan attends mainstream school and rides the mainstream bus, so this is not a special education issue. But it is having an impact on his special education plan.


12 thoughts on “No More Mr. Nice Guy

  1. Good luck to you. We are dealing with a small transportation issue ourselves. I, too, believe in being polite, but firm. Again, because we pay too much in taxes and too many people have put too much time and effort to care for Tate’s education for it to be undone by a bus issue. (Loved that wording!!)

    My calls will start Friday if things aren’t resolved. I stand with you in solidarity.


  2. I agree the calls must be made. I find it helpful to follow up with one email that is sent to every single person that I have spoken with, and their supervisors, summarizing the conversation and my expectations about next steps. Seeing it in print seems to help grease the wheels sometimes.

    Wishing you all the best!


  3. If it doesn’t get fixed soon….well you know I am would happily come up and “Open a Can of Whoop ***” as your brother-in-law would say. Do keep hammering on the people and letting their supervisors know, write letters to the Board of Education, newpapers, etc…. I am sure that you will reach the right person to either make things happen or you will wear them down. Hang in there.


  4. Of all the calls I made, it seems the one to the mayor’s office, where I spoke to an administrative assistant, did the most good. She explained the mayor has no jurisdiction over the school district (news to me) but offered to send along an email to transportation on behalf of a concerned citizen. I have been receiving calls with status updates from transportation ever since.


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