Hun Joon Lee, 19, a Whittier School District Special Needs Student was found dead on the school bus, last Friday, at the close of the triple-digit temperature school day.
While his parents report he was picked up in front of their home at 8:30 that morning, the same as every morning, their 300-pound Autistic son never made it to the class that day.
News reports say it isn’t clear whether the contracted bus company is required to do a headcount, reasonable procedure, commonsense and a commitment to duty would make a driver in charge of children, take on the responsibility of knowing all the cargo was delivered.
News reports say the driver only picked up 3 students that morning. Didn’t the driver know how to count those few numbers when reaching the destination?
In speaking with a teacher who works at a special needs school in another district and who is often assigned to “bus ramp” duty, she told me when the kids disembark, she asks the driver to check the bus by walking to the back – what’s called a reasonable procedure. When special needs students, at her school, are missing in class in the mornings, teachers check with other students in the classroom as to whether that student was on the bus.
What a tragedy Lee’s death is and that it most certainly could have been prevented had the driver, and it doesn’t matter that he was a sub for the day, performed due diligence – walked to the back of the bus! For 19 years the Lee family has carefully watched over their Autistic Special Needs child and that is not an easy assignment for any parent.
For 19 years, they have struggled to provide him with the best in education, medical services, and family love. But his life has now been snuffed out in a school bus oven and the question being asked, “Is the bus company required to do a headcount?”Hun Joon Lee died a miserable death; the details of which we really don’t need to know – such as how long he was on the floor where they found his lifeless body nor do we really need any other of the gruesome facts. Hun Joon Lee is gone and his parents, suffering from their loss, have hearts that are crumbling with grief.
A Gofundme site has been set up, please join me and the many others who are so touched and troubled by this story by making a contribution to help with the family’s expenses and to let them know how many of us care: