In The Politics of Autism, I write about the everyday struggles facing autistic people and their families -- such as dangers on the school bus.
The parents of a special-needs student who died after being left on a school bus in Whittier on a hot summer day thanked Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday for signing legislation that requires school buses to have an alarm system to ensure students are not left behind.
“Although we tragically lost our son Paul last year after he was left behind on a school bus for seven hours, we know that the signing of this bill is a warm hug from heaven that will enable all children who ride a school bus to arrive at their destination safely,” said Eun Ha Lee, mother of Hun Joon “Paul” Lee.
The 19-year-old with autism died after being left on a bus for nine hours in 90-degree heat Sept. 11, 2015.
Senate Bill 1072 or the Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law, authored by Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, will require school buses in California to be equipped with child-safety alarms beginning 2018.
The alarm system triggers a loud sound when the bus is turned off. The driver must walk to the back of the bus to turn off the alarm, and at the same time check to make sure no students are still on board.