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Hills. school bus drivers: We aren't trained to transport medically fragile students

Tampa, Fl - As the Hillsborough County School Board continues to finalize a settlement after a special-needs student's death, concern remains over the school bus system and safety issues.

Some bus drivers said caring for special needs students can be a huge responsibility for very little pay. Drivers said they are not properly trained to take care of medically challenged students and they fear if something happens to one of those students on a bus, they will be held responsible.

Bus drivers tell Hillsborough County School Board top-down change is needed.....

Tampa, Fl - One after another, Hillsborough County school bus drivers lined up to address the school board.

"This is the eighth largest district in this country and we look like fools," Sheila Mingo said.

"There definitely has to be some changes here folks. We're losing drivers," Kelmie Bigelow said.

Kyinesha Johnson's family sues Hillsborough Schools after Stephanie Wilkerson seen on video literally kicking 8-year-old girl off a school bus

Tampa, Florida- The Hillsborough School District faces yet another lawsuit from a family with a disabled child. They seek at least $15,000 in damages.

The district has been under scrutiny for several cases involving injuries and two student deaths.

Hillsborough School Board requires financial disclosures for top staff...

TAMPA — Senior staff in the Hillsborough County school district will have to file financial disclosure forms, the School Board decided Tuesday.

"My goal is to ensure that we have transparency in this district, to restore the public's confidence," said chairwoman April Griffin, who introduced the motion late in the meeting.

Teacher's emails reveal problems at Rodgers months before student's death...

TAMPA - Classrooms for disabled students were so understaffed there wasn't time to give kids all the care they needed. Bathroom duty was so overwhelming, staff spent more time cleaning than teaching.

Jodi White, a veteran teacher, repeatedly reported these and other conditions affecting special-needs kids at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview. Her emails, obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, went to the principal's office and area headquarters in the months before Jennifer Caballero, an 11-year-old with Down syndrome, drowned in a pond behind the school.


TAMPA — In the first Hillsborough County School Board meeting since the superintendent and the district's attorney were overheard making comments over a hot microphone, everyone had something to say.

Superintendent MaryEllen Elia hadn't realized her microphone was on earlier this month when it picked up her remarks to the district's attorney about the need to balance critical comments from parents with those who support the schools.

Tampa mom fights to keep her disabled son in neighborhood school..........

TAMPA, Fla. - Roberta Moore is fighting to keep her disabled son in his neighborhood school.

"I want to understand why this change was made," Moore asked the Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday.

Moore's son Daniel, 10, has Down syndrome. For the last three-and-a-half years, he's been a student at Mabry Elementary School........


TAMPA — Reversing a vote from earlier this month, the Hillsborough County School Board decided Tuesday to go back to publicly posting the names of employees who face suspension or dismissal.

They will also include brief descriptions of allegations against the employees and disclaimers that tell due process rights.


TAMPA, Fla. - Video newly released Wednesday by the state attorney's office shows exactly what happened September 28 when a Hillsborough County school bus driver literally kicked off a special needs student, breaking her ankle.

It took the loss of two young lives to come up with the proposed changes.....

TAMPA (FOX 13) -
It took the loss of two young lives to come up with the changes. Eleven-year old Jenny Cabellero, a girl with Down Syndrome, drowned in a pond at Rodgers Middle School in October.

And Isabella Herrera, a 7-year-old with a neuromuscular disorder, died after going into respiratory distress on a Hillsborough County school bus.

Hillsborough County School Board Meeting: 12/14/21@4 PM

901 East Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa Fl, 33602

In the Tampa Bay area school districts are entrusted with multi billion dollar budgets that directly impact over 500,000 students, 50,000 employees and thousands of vendors and service providers.

Elected school boards in each of the counties are tasked with overseeing these dollars and providing oversight.

Ultimately, however,it falls upon the citizenry to monitor the conduct and expenditures of public dollars and the quality of education being provided to children.

Reports of many children struggling to attain a quality education have been featured prominently in the local media and underscores the need for parents, family members and all stakeholders to actively participate in the educational process.

Please consider attending an upcoming school board meeting to add your voice to the call for a high quality education for all children.