Are students with special needs properly restrained while being transported?

Special needs school buses

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. -- The Sarasota County school district has about 35 busses to handle students with special needs.

Some of the special needs buses have safety seats, that would handle a child that may be smaller. There are seat belts in this bus. And in the back, there's a space for wheelchairs. Wheelchairs are lifted up, placed here and then harnessed in.

The district says a child with special needs could mean physically or mentally and aren't releasing yet how many might have been in a wheelchair.

"There was an attendant to deal with whatever needs they have," says Scott Ferguson, Sarasota County School District Spokesperson.

Ferguson says there were 12 students on board ranging from kindergarten to 20-years-old. There were no serious injuries and officials credit that to buses like this and the safety measures in place that make sure every student is properly restrained if something like this happens.

"Students from Oak Park have a transportation plan in place specific to their needs. They have resources whatever they need on bus and an attendant on the bus,” says Ferguson.

A special needs bus costs about $15,000 more than a regular bus.

10 News also reached out to other districts, who tell us that a student with special needs has an individualized education plan, and part of that is transportation. How they are transported is agreed on by student’s parents.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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