A mother was upset when she couldn’t stop the mistreatment of her daughter, who was in a five-point harness car seat and unable to get away. This occurred on the school bus where Lillian Waldron, a 10-year-old girl with developmental delays, is transported to Langlade Elementary School in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Lillian, who is nonverbal, was sitting in a child safety seat with a five-point harness directly behind the bus driver. Her parents thought that this arrangement would provide the utmost safety for their daughter, but sadly, this wasn’t the case. When Lillian returned home crying and holding her arm, her mother didn’t know what was wrong because Lilly can’t speak. However, when her mother took off her daughter’s shirt, she discovered a gruesome sight. It is heartbreaking.
Lillian’s mother, Lynn Waldron-Moehle, shared how giving her daughter a bath was a soothing activity for her. However, when she took off Lillian’s sweatshirt, she noticed that her daughter’s upper arms were covered in severe bruises that were evidence of the abuse she had suffered while in her safety seat.
Lillian was unable to communicate her distress to the bus driver, as she was sitting directly behind him and was being repeatedly bitten by another student. Despite making sounds of pain, the bus driver did not investigate or intervene, leaving Lillian to endure the abuse. Lillian’s parents are now speaking out against the driver’s negligence and pointing out the fact that the incident was captured on a gruesome video. Chad Waldron, Lillian’s father, expressed disbelief that the bus driver could not hear or see what was happening right behind him.
As per a spokesperson for Lamers Bus Lines, the buses used by Green Bay Area Public Schools are equipped with video recording devices, and drivers are authorized to intervene if any altercation takes place. However, it appears that the bus driver failed to intervene in the incident involving Lillian Waldron.
The school district has announced an investigation into the matter, and the child’s mother claims that the principal has already viewed the video and found it disturbing. The school district’s Superintendent, Michelle Langenfeld, has stated that they have reached out to the family and are providing support to ensure the wellbeing of the student.
Lillian Waldron’s parents believe that having an adult supervise the children is a simple way to ensure their wellbeing. If the bus driver is unable to keep an eye on the children, someone else should be brought in to do so, especially since the children have special needs. “I don’t want this to happen to any other child. No other child should have to go through what Lilly went through,” Lynn said. To prevent a similar incident from happening again, the school has implemented two changes: the student who bit Lilly is not allowed at the elementary school anymore, and Lilly will be transported to and from school in a van with two adults accompanying her.
However, do these solutions suffice? Shouldn’t someone be held accountable for neglecting their responsibilities, whether it’s the school or the bus driver? While it’s true that the driver must focus on the road, they also have a responsibility to ensure the safety of all the children on the bus.
If for any reason, the driver was unable to fulfill this responsibility, they had a duty to inform the school that the situation was unsafe. If it was an unusual occurrence during the ride, the driver should have stopped the bus immediately and dealt with the issue as a top priority, just as they would for a child with a medical emergency.
The bus driver appeared to have no concern for anything other than driving. Despite a child screaming in agony just behind them, their cries went unanswered, resulting in a far worse outcome than necessary. Instead of being bitten once, which is already terrible, the child was bitten repeatedly, resulting in bruises that only hint at the extreme pain and fear she must have endured.
While having an aide on the bus seems like a feasible solution, some argue that it would be too costly for taxpayers who support the school district. However, a lawsuit can also be expensive when lack of supervision and oversight leads to preventable injuries or worse. If a child can harm this little girl to this extent without anyone intervening, what other harm could they have caused? And what if it happened to your child? What value do you place on their safety?