I am deeply disturbed by what I am about to share with you.
On October 3rd, Richard Mason a school bus chaperone in Long Island, NY was accused and arrested for roughing up five-year old Connor Shirangi and incidentally breaking his arm. Connor is on the autism spectrum. He could’ve have been my child or yours. That bus could have been driving in your neighborhood. That incident could have…well, it should have never happened.
What disturbs me as a parent of a special needs child is that anyone guilty of an accident or incident will quickly try to cover it up, while leaving our children as victims. Initially, the bus company mentioned that Mason was trying to break up a fight between two children and was trying to prevent one of them from breaking the glass. However, Connor told his mom a different story. Not surprised that the stories would be different. Not surprised that Mason’s family members will stand by him and say that he loves kids and he is not a violent person. Well guess what? Things happen. In this case, an innocent child’s arm is broken because of someone’s negligence.
What also disturbs me is that many of our special needs children are often neglected, ignored, and mistreated by people we trust to take care of them. It could be something as simple as having a child on a hot steamy bus for hours, a child being slapped for swinging and kicking when in fact something is actually bothering the child, or a child not being fed at school. We as adults need to speak up for our innocent children and step in to prevent more incidents like this.
Special needs children are not always in a position to always defend them self and some may not be able to at all. They need strong advocates like me and Miz Kp and other parents to insist on protecting them by any means necessary and without fail!
If this had happened to Angel, I would be livid. I know I wouldn’t be able to sleep or go to work. I wouldn’t sit down and wait for answers. I would go straight to the school bus company and the school and demand answers. I would of course console my child. I would definitely go after the assailant and make sure he serves time and that he apologizes to my child. I would make a public example of anyone involved in the incident. I would humiliate any parties who willfully try to cover the truth!
If you want to read more on this story, a quick Google search will give you more details. In the mean time, please share your thoughts, opinions, and questions in the comments.
Thanks for listening,
Dad of Angel