Dear Superintendent Ed Graff

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is NOT to transport my child under any circumstances effective October 11, 2016.  I called the Davis Center’s Transportation Dispatch line at 612-668-2300 and settled on a note for the #5 Bus Driver to not transport my son. I was advised to also communicate with the school’s Transportation Coordinator directly.

Our parental pick up routine was severely disrupted on October 11, 2016 close to 2pm when my 5 year old did not walk through the gym doors as we had been doing for over a year at the same school.  I managed to intercept my son in hallway after getting a tip that he was being forced on the bus.  His home teacher left the school day on an emergency and so an internal educator stepped in.

I found my son at the front of the line being tightly held by the hand by this educator.  She also works with his classroom daily.  Another Kindergarten teacher was also “helping.”

I found a tear tracked terrorized little face. I did not see safety. I saw distress. I saw fright. I know that he spoke up. I know other children spoke up on his behalf.

He said, “I tried to hold on to anything and everything mama. I tried and tried and tried and tried.”

There is also a clip board on the door that indicates that my son is to go to the gym!

She dragged him.  She chose to engage in a power struggle with my 5 year old.

These are the outcomes:

  • A meeting with school leadership to determine this is a rarity and an apology.  Apparently, the Transportation Coordinator never entered the correct information into the system and “new tags were printed that day.”
  • I received a note from the educator expressing regret and several falsehoods like she was “keeping him safe” and that she “heard his voice.” No and no.
  • Both my 5 year old son and I feel very anxious and distrustful when our home teacher is not in the classroom.
  • Knowledge of Minneapolis Public Schools Transportation Services

I still can’t understand why after several red flags educators were catering to a very traumatizing ride where exactly? Why not just pick up the phone to call me or simply walk over to the gym and ask me, I was there.

On Monday, November 14th, at parent drop off, the same educator that was forcing my son onto the bus was greeting the families. My son heard her say that the homeroom teacher was having car trouble and running late. I heard my son say to the educator that: “Don’t try to put me on the bus again!” “No.” She replied.

Sincerely, A “vigilant” mother

Posted in: Our Stories

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