Florida Bus Driver Controversy

FloridaThe ability of people to be cold and uncaring is sometimes amazing, in a decidedly negative fashion. Reports of events from Florida highlight this sad fact. The controversy involves a bus driver in Broward County, Florida.

It seems that when the driver brought eighth-grade student Andrew Shepard to his bus stop, Shepard was having a seizure. Shepard’s seizures are apparently caused by several different medical issues, including diabetes, low blood sugar, and Addison’s disease.

Addison’s disease is a type of hormonal disorder. People with this disease apparently have low amounts of cortisol, a hormone that has numerous different functions. Among other things, cortisol helps with blood pressure and with stress. There are several different potential symptoms of Addison’s disease including fatigue, stress problems, dizziness, low blood sugar. Of course, blood sugar problems can be very dangerous. Low blood sugar can cause a person to have blurry vision or cause them to pass out and have seizures. In extreme cases, it can lead to a coma.

It seems that Shepard’s seizure was brought on by these blood sugar problems. Needless to say, it ought to be unthinkable for a person in any kind of position of responsibility or authority to leave their charge in such a dangerous position without help. Sadly, that is allegedly what the bus driver did when the Florida boy had his seizure.

The boy’s sister apparently asked the driver to take them directly home, rather than make them get off the bus. The driver refused and would not even let the pair stay on the bus. Thankfully, in this situation Shepard had several people around to help him. His sister happened to be with him and some of the neighbors also helped. His mother called an ambulance.

This situation turned out about as well as it could have given the unfortunate circumstances. However, things could easily have gotten really nasty. Had Shepard and his sister been alone, she would have had a difficult time even getting him home. The Florida boy’s neighbors did what his bus driver apparently could not or would not do. Namely, take some time out of their days to help.

It is unclear why exactly the bus driver refused to help. He obviously realized what was happening, as Shepard’s sister informed him. Perhaps he felt ill-equipped. This is understandable, but it is obviously not an excuse for refusing to help. In any case, the school surely new at least a little about Shepard’s condition. Maybe if the bus driver had been prepared before hand, he would have been more likely to help.

The Florida boy’s mother and sister were understandably very upset about the whole situation. His mother said that the driver should have at least called 911. She mentions that if Shepard had been kicked off the bus and his sister had not been with him, he would possibly have died. That is a valid point, but to be fair, maybe the bus driver would not have left him alone if he had not been accompanied by his sister.

This controversy over the Florida bus driver’s questionable decision highlights an important point. Sometimes, small actions are all that are necessary to help in a problem situation. It would have been a relatively minor inconvenience for the driver to call for help. Fortunately, other people were there to help, but it would have been a disaster if the boy was left alone.

It is hard to tell what consequences, if any, will occur do to this controversy involving the bus driver, but the school board of Broward County, Florida said that they will investigate. Hopefully, events such as this can be prevented in the future.

Opinion By Zach Kirkman

Mayo Clinic

Web MD


2 Responses to "Florida Bus Driver Controversy"