Texas School District Required to Provide Bus Monitors with Training Specific to Student’s Behaviors

 A state hearing officer ruled in Corpus Christi Independent School District, 57 IDELR 297 (Tex. SEA 2011) that the school district failed to provide appropriate personnel support so that a  student with an emotional disturbance and ADHD could be safely transported on the bus. The student had been suspended from the bus more than ten times during the 2010-2011 school year for aggressive behavior, failure to remain seated, and using profanity. The school district’s solution was to propose that the student’s grandparents provide his transportation and offered to pay their mileage. The grandparents rejected that proposal and requested a due process hearing to resolve a number of issues, including the school district’s failure to provide appropriately trained personnel on the bus.

In his decision, the hearing officer noted that transportation is a related service under the IDEA. Additionally, under the IDEA, supplementary aids and services are those aids, services, and supports that are provided in a variety of settings to enable a child with a disability to be  integrated with students without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate. Here, the bus monitor who supervised children on the student’s school bus had only been provided general training on behavior management. The hearing officer determined that this student’s disruptive behaviors were significant and frequent and that the bus monitor had been ineffective in ensuring the safe transportation of the student and his peers. Thus, the hearing officer ordered the school district to provide a bus monitor with more specific training and skills to deal with the student’s unique behavioral issues.

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