Brenda Gregorio-Nieto

Transportation Concerns for Kids With Developmental Disabilities in Coronado

Parents are upset the Coronado Unified School District could change whose been driving their kids with developmental disabilities to and from school.

A decision to change how 33 special education students get to and from school weighed heavy Thursday in the school board meeting.

This move was meant to give ride options to four different vendors, these vendors operating like a ride-hailing service, but for kids.

Switching from one vendor of drivers to four, the board thinks it will provide flexibility with different drivers and save money.

"My daughter still has stranger danger. Now I’m going to be teaching her to get into an unmarked car with a complete stranger every day, its a huge amount of risk," said Nancy Parrett, a current parent.

But for Patricia Ross, she said it brings back trauma her daughter with down syndrome experienced many years ago when a fill-in bus driver drove her daughter home one day.

"Her shirt was on inside out, and she was scraped up on her hands,” Ross said. "My daughter said that ‘he made my pants fall down and he hurt my knees.’”

Ross said her daughter was sexually assaulted and said this would put current special education students at risk.

The district moved to approve the change but was sympathetic to her story.

"There are cameras on these cars nowadays; there’s a lot of technology and tracking so that incidents like the ones we heard never happen,” said Esther Valdes, a Coronado Unified School District board member.

Several other school districts already use these kinds of vendors which board members said background check their drivers.

According to Coronado Unified contract, it will start with an initial term of one year beginning on July 1.

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