Monday, August 22, 2011

The Short Bus

It's that wonderful time of year called Back to School. Besides the back-to-school sale flyers nothing symbolizes Back to School like the yellow school bus in its iconic shade of School Bus Yellow. (Technically, the color is called National School Bus Glossy Yellow. Who knew?) The yellow school bus, it seems, is as American as apple pie. I guess.

Keen observers such as small children will notice that there are big yellow buses and short yellow buses. (As a side note: did you know that the plural of bus can also be spelled busses? Hmmm.) A curious child might ask, "Why are there two bus sizes?" How to answer this question. Let's see. Well, let's start with what the short yellow bus is not. The short bus is not The Retard Rocket. It is not the SpEd Sled. It is not the Tart Cart. (If you're curious about these terms, then visit Urban Dictionary. If you're easily offended then don't.) The short bus is a hard-working bus equipped with a wheelchair lift because some children cannot walk and must use wheelchairs. Some children may have difficulty sitting because of low muscle tone and may require support from a seat belt found on the short bus.

The short yellow bus is a hard-working bus that transports equally hard-working students. You see, many of these students struggle to master basic tasks and skills that come so much easier to the students on the big bus. Whether it's walking, talking, eating, reading, writing, or simply understanding, the students on the short bus have had difficulty learning to do some of these basics. Yet, despite all of this, these courageous students go off to school - sometimes happily - never knowing that the words "short bus" have become a disparaging term.

I don't want to paint an idyllic picture of life on the short bus. It's not all fun and games and yes, sometimes there are behavioral challenges. However, it's not all fun and games on the big bus either. But then again, the kids on the big bus should know better. So the next time you see a short yellow school bus just know that it carries students like my son. Just know that it carries students whose parents are so grateful that their children have an opportunity to go to school.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ " Matthew 25:40

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...