Parent shares school bus transportation concerns


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A mother of a teenager with disabilities says her daughter could’ve been put in danger on her school bus.

Autumn Nagele says the Champaign school transportation system has yet to provide a special shoulder strap on her bus. Her daughter has been on Champaign school buses before, which have had harnesses, but this year the bus didn’t have anything. The family formally requested a strap last week, but argue it shouldn’t have come to this.

Nagele says the transportation director told her they’ve been backlogged fixing other issues. She says, “I’m terribly frustrated. The first week we stayed off the bus so they could get everything in order. After that first week we were promised that would happen.”

Nagele has been picking up her daughter Summer after school at Central High, but she shouldn’t have to. She says, “The bus showed up and they don’t have the seating that she needs. Specifically right now she needs a shoulder belt and they didn’t have that installed.”

Nagele’s individualized education program (IEP) requests a special strap to make sure her daughter is secure. She says, “Summer has a neuromuscular disease and she has no protective responses or reflexes. So if she were to fly forward she would hurt herself terribly if she only had a lap belt on.”

On the first day of school, Summer noticed it wasn’t there. She got off the bus and called her mom. The problem hasn’t been resolved. She says, “I’ve been given a lot of different excuses as to why things haven’t been done properly.”

The district wouldn’t comment about her specific problem. But in response to other parents’ concerns about transportation issues they say…

“Unit 4 safely transports more than 5,000 students to and from school each day. The beginning of a new school year is especially challenging for transportation in all school districts due to last minute enrollments and changes in student placements that can require specialized equipment and adjustments to bus routes. Providing safe, reliable and timely transportation remains our priority.”  

Champaign Unit 4 School District

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