Brampton teen forced to walk home on crutches after school bus ‘miscommunication’


Published November 29, 2022 at 9:40 am


A Brampton father is speaking out after his son was forced to limp home on crutches when a bus driver wouldn’t give the injured teen ride.

Richard Young says his 16-year-old son suffered a knee injury in September playing football at a high school in Brampton. The boy required crutches to walk, and he had to stay home from school for a week while the injury healed.

But when his son returned to class and went to board the school bus home, a Student Transportation of Peel Region (STOPR) bus driver told the boy couldn’t come on the bus because his crutches “could be used as a weapon,” Young said.

The bus driver backed down after the boy’s friends came to his defence, which also upset Young because his Black son wasn’t allowed on the bus until a Caucasian friend stood up for him.

But the driver made the same excuse the following day and Young says his son was not allowed on the bus. The 16-year-old ended up taking a different bus route home, dropping him off more than a half hour’s walk from home on crutches.

“Of course I was angry. What if he had gotten hurt out there?” Young told Insauga. “It was a bus driver acting outside their authority.”

Young said he called the school to complain and staff were “quick and proactive” in working to correct the incident, giving his son alternate transportation while he still required crutches.

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STOPR, which provides transportation for Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board and Peel District School Board students, has policies related to transporting “certain types of equipment” that could become projectiles in the event of a sudden stop or accident situation.

Students are to receive “temporary medical transportation” if they have a disability that prevents them from boarding a bus and walking to their seat, according to STOPR policy.

A spokesperson with the DPCDSB said Young’s son should have been temporarily provided transportation on a smaller van-type vehicle, rather than denied access to the bus.

“There seems to have been some miscommunication between the bus driver and the student when this first occurred in September,” the spokesperson said, adding that “the matter could have been handled better than it was.”

Young said his son will be getting a formal apology from STOPR and the driver on Tuesday (Nov. 29). Young said he is sharing his son’s story to educate parents and make sure no other students are put in the same position as his son.

“All they needed to do is either radio to the dispatcher, or let one of the hall monitors know,” Young said. “The superintendent admitted that’s on them, they screwed up.”

The DPCDSB said it regrets that the incident occurred and supports the driver and operator in apologizing.

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