Monday, August 31, 2009

Canadian city bus service denies ousting boy with autism

From UPI:

DARTMOUTH, Nova Scotia -- A Canadian city transit authority in Nova Scotia denies allegations that a bus driver ordered a screaming autistic 8-year-old boy off the bus in Halifax.

David Croft told The (Halifax) Chronicle-Herald his autistic son Izaak began screaming on a bus as part of an outing with 15 other autistic children and 15 counselors Wednesday.

Croft alleges the bus driver ordered the boy off the bus.

"When the situation isn't right, his only outlet is this scream, which can be a pretty unnerving sound," he said.

Croft is demanding a written apology and a change in policy for the Metro Transit system in dealing with people with neurological disorders, the newspaper said.

Metro Transit spokeswoman Lori Patterson said there is an investigation under way, but denies the bus driver was in the wrong.

"Any time that there's a fairly significant disruption on the bus, (drivers) do have control over that. And if they determine that it's a safety problem for them driving the bus, then they say so and that's what he stated," she said. "He didn't actually tell them, 'You have to get off the bus.'"

The transit authority is reviewing security video from the bus, and Patterson said there would be no apology until the review determined if one was necessary.