School Bus Fails to Pick Up Autistic Girl: Mother - NBC Bay Area

School Bus Fails to Pick Up Autistic Girl: Mother



    Special Needs Bus Fails to Pick Up Girl With Autism

    A mother at the Hayward Unified School District is concerned with the district's bus service system. Marianne Favro reports. (Published Friday, Sept. 13, 2013)

    When Alicia Gonzalez put her three year old autistic daughter Caitlyn on a Durham services bus Wednesday for her first day of preschool, it was supposed to be a milestone. Now its a day this mother would like to forget.

    First, Gonzalez said the bus took her daughter to the wrong school. Then she said the bus failed to pick her up at the end of the day.

    "At 11:30 I get a call from the school saying no one came to pick up my daughter. They said the bus driver didn’t return,” Alicia Gonzalez said.

    Alicia scrambled to have someone else pick up Caitlyn, who she says was traumatized by the ordeal.

    She said Caitlyn slept 14 hours, and the next day she didn’t want to get on the bus.

    The interim superintendent for Hayward Unified School District admits the district has other issues with Durham.

    "Durham is the second largest carrier in the nation we have had previous concerns with their system. We are committed to developing a system to better track down concerns about Durham,” Stan Dobs, interim superintendent of Hayward Unified said.

    A spokesman for Durham school services said safety is their top concern.

    “We work closely with our district partner HUSD to address issues that arise and have worked out a plan to improve communication and coordination moving forward," Paul Gracco with Durham school services said.

    But he wouldn’t say what that plan was.

    Alicia says it’s not enough.

    Durham provides transportation to students in the district with special needs and she says they deserve more.

    There are more than 2,000 students with special needs in the district.