Thursday, December 22, 2005


Press Abandons Story on Duct Taped Child, a website written by parent and advocate Laura Brown, reveals this shocking story about children being duct taped, abused and threatened by drivers of contractor Kailua Local.

The story was covered on TV and in an Advertiser article (see: Google), but none of the reporters followed up with a visit to the bus company site or a search of criminal records, as Laura did, nor has there been any further coverage after the initial reports.

If the media had sent a photographer to the bus company location, here is what they might have seen, as Laura reports:
But a visit to the site shows the office is in a dilapidated building with many abandoned rusted bus parts in the parking lot. The buses on site are in noticeably dilapidated condition with ripped seats and windows without glass covered in gray canvas. There is no listing for a Kailua Local Bus Company on the exterior of the building . . .

Also read the article to find out about what a criminal record search turned up.

The Department of Education has an obligation to transport children safely. In the case of special needs children, there is training that must be provided to drivers and aides. IDEA Part B regulations seem to require training: "As with other provisions related to qualified personnel, all personnel who provide required services, including bus drivers, must be appropriately trained. (Source: Attachment 1 of the final regulations, Analysis of Comments and Changes, p. 12551)".

This is something one would think should be on the front burner for an investigative reporter. If it is kept quiet, it is unlikely that a DOE that does not take enough interest to be sure children are transported safely with appropriately screened and trained drivers will change its wayward ways. More children may become victims.


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