Driver Won't Let Special Needs Child on Bus, Mother Says

Albuquerque bus driver allegedly calls second-grader with cerebral palsy "retarded."


Driver Won't Let Special Needs Child on Bus

It's crucial to have a warm and sensitive side if you spend your days working with children. And so if you are a bus driver for elementary school students you should be patient and helpful if one of your students has cerebral palsy and can't keep her head upright as a result. Yet one bus driver for Chaparral Elementary School in Albuquerque apparently got so fed up with having to help out second grader Valerie Montoya she told her mother Carol her daughter was no longer welcome on the bus as a result of her special needs.

The driver delivered the message via text message, and didn't stop there, according to Carol. The driver included epithets in the message, allegedly telling the mother, , "Get your f--ing fat a-- up and take your own f--ing retarded daughter to school. I ain't no nurse and sh--." With no bus at her disposal, Valerie is now left without a wheelchair-accessible vehicle to take her to school. Her mother is calling for the Herrera Bus Company to fire the bus driver, as local ABC outlet KOAT reported. The case is being investigated by Albuquerque police, and the driver is being investigated for harassment. The company, however, is saying the messages were in fact not sent by the driver, as was reported by the Albuquerque Journal News.

"She told me my daughter has too many medical problems that she couldn't handle," Carol Montoya told KOAT. "They made it seem like my daughter is a burden to them, when in reality that's what they're hired for."

Both sides agree that the Montoyas and the driver regularly traded text messages to make transportation plans But on this occasion there was no such telephone communication, and the driver's message log revealed no such conversation, Herrera manager Therese Almager told the Albuquerque Journal News.

A cross-check with Verizon records also revealed no such conversation, Almager said. And to add insult to injury, the exchange is all the more dubious when considering that the driver is herself a caretaker of a special needs child, according to Almarger.

The Albuquerque Public School system, however, has confirmed Carol Montoya has forwarded the text message in question, and they are still investigating.

Apparently this is not the Montoyas' first dust-up with the Herrera Bus company. Roughly three years ago, Valerie was being wheeled off a bus when her wheelchair rolled off the ramp and injured her mother's leg. An out-of-court settlement resulted in the company compensating the Montoyas.

Of course, many workplaces throughout America stand out for their treatment of people with special needs. Just last month, AOL Jobs featured the story of Pennsylvania ambulance company Liberty Ambulance, which helped arrange for a wheelchair to be delivered to a local handicapped resident, Markeys Smith, after his wheelchair was stolen outside of his house. The company then asked him to watch over their grounds.

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Carole Ann

I drove a Handicapped wheel chair accessible bus for years. All of the drivers I knew expected to help these children. I'm inclined to believe the driver didn't send this message. I don't know why anyone would send such a message but if the driver offered her cell phone records maybe they should make an attempt to find out where this message orginated. would hate to think someone did this just to make trouble for the driver or make a case to sue the bus srevice.

October 12 2013 at 7:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gfunk1974

she says they make her feel like her daughter is a burden? she is severely retarded, OF COURSE SHES A BURDEN!! ur gonna put the pressure on the bus driver to take care of ur special needs child? thats not right. im sure that driver doesnt get paid that much to begin with, then u want her to take special care of that kid? get real

October 12 2013 at 4:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cristina Silver Rose

The bus driver is denying that she sent that text and even offered to give her phone records to authorities. What many people do not realize is that there is a huge chance that she did not send that message. There are websites and apps that give people the ability to use another person's phone number for pranks. This has happened to me (although, thankfully, it was not this extreme)

October 11 2013 at 11:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ae12wrangell

The hell with suspension. She just got herself fired!

October 11 2013 at 11:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wiseman103199

Think she is looking for a payday?

October 11 2013 at 11:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wiseman103199's comment
ae12wrangell

She will get one final paycheck, then thats it.

October 11 2013 at 11:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Vegasrick

If the mother is lying there are legal ramifications that could include defamation and slander.

October 11 2013 at 11:05 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
sweetunique123

smh

October 11 2013 at 10:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Welcome King

Having a special needs kid is difficult.

October 11 2013 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
OrygunGuy

WOW this ends up being just another story of entitlement mentality.

The mother is allegedly trying to suck from the tit of fraudulently extorted cash. The message she says she got has no electronic record to support her fraudulent report. Dan Fastenberg should be ashamed of how he framed this story to give the impression that a hard working special needs bus driver was harassing a young handicapped child.

His is the very face of a left stilted press prevaricator.

October 11 2013 at 9:37 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Wilma Jo Spanyer

I am not talking bad against this mother, I am just saying what I would do. If my child were special needs and I had had difficulties with this bus company before, you can bet I would not be sending my child to school this way. I don't understand why the mom's van isn't equipped to handle a wheelchair. It looks like some company would donate the work to be done for her for free. So many special needs kids are abused by their caregivers, this happens over and over again. I would either home school the kids or at least transport them. I feel so sorry for this child, and you know they are probably picking on her brother, too.

October 11 2013 at 9:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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