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Autistic student escorted off bus for having head lice

BY: Kimberly Snickles, Cheektowaga Source | January 31, 2013

A six-year-old autistic student was taken off of his bus last Friday and escorted back to the classroom for having a severe case of head lice.

According to Cleveland Hill Superintendent Jon MacSwan, the student is part of the BOCES program of which Cleveland Hill School District rents out a room to. Prior to bus pick up the teacher called the student’s mother to inform her of the student’s lice problem and asked that he be picked up. The mother was unable to provide transportation so the teacher walked the student to the bus and informed the driver of the situation.

“They were still at the bus yard and when the student was brought to the bus, the teacher shared with the driver that the student had lice and there was a misdirection that the student was to be taken off of the bus,” said Spokesperson for First Student, Maureen Richmond.

Richmond stated that First Student does not have any policies that say students with head lice cannot be transported to and from school. The driver of the vehicle was only doing what he was told by dispatch and escorted the student back to his classroom. As far as Cleveland Hill is concerned, the district does not have any contract with First Student. Nonetheless, the district still ran a full investigation on the situation and contacted the boy’s parents.

“We did speak with the child’s parents on Friday to find out more information. We conducted a full investigation and the student was not in danger and he was not by himself at any point and we wanted to communicate that to the parents and of course apologize for the misdirection that did occur,” said MacSwan.

Richmond stated that since the incident, First Student has reeducated their employees on specific policies such as these. A student with head lice is welcome to be transported on any First Student bus to and from school and then the driver is to disinfect the bus once all students exit the vehicle.

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