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Heidi: My son is developmentally disabled and in Special Education Classes at his assigned middle school in California. He has a document intellectual/cognitive disability (Cornelia de Lange) and behaviors similar to autism. He has transportation in his IEP but the district says they do not provide transportation to/from our door. The pick-up/drop-off location is 1.9 miles from our home – an unsafe distance for him to walk home alone, through a very busy intersection and through a freeway
onramp/offramp intersection. We cannot pick him up from the bus stop because we both work full time. Does the district have to provide transportation to our door if the designated location is too far from home for him to access it safely?

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Sharon L.

The short answer is “yes”. My son went to a school that was in a different district than ours but still in the same city because the program we wanted him in was there. THey had to provide transportation but legally there is a distance requirement on how long a child can be transported from point to point. THe way they handled that was to take him from the house to a school that was closer and then from there another bus took him to his actual school. It may have been a work around but we were ok with it because we worked full time also and could not pick him up and no one else in the family could do it either.

Heidi, You need to write a “Letter to the Stranger” to the school superintendent, with copies to special ed director, school principal, and to each school board member. Describe your son’s disabilities and what the district told you about transporting your child to his home.

If the district can’t use common sense and good judgment to make this decision, a school bd lawyer will be aware of the many potential bad outcomes and will, hopefully, intervene. In your letter, request a response to your request for door-to-door transportation within 5-7 days. (pick one). Hand deliver your letter and make a note of who you delivered it to, and date and time.