Sometimes there are stories that are multifaceted and requires one to look into both sides before jumping to conclusions.
The story about a 5 year old Arizona boy with autism who was refused a ride on his school bus for not wearing a mask is one of those stories.
Jack Griffith was getting ready for his first day of kindergarten on Wednesday. Jack’s parents told a local reporter that even before setting foot on the school bus, Jack was always telling them he felt weird in the tummy and how that led to a conversation about being nervous.
As a student for Bush Elementary School’s special-needs class, Jack was nonetheless still excited for his first school day. However, what should have been a happy day for Jack and his family quickly took a negative turn when Jack tried to get on the bus.
The bus driver told Jack and his parents that all students who board the school bus must wear a mask. This was not what Beth, Jack’s mom, heard from the district’s officials. Beth said she was clearly told by the authorities that special needs students did not have to wear masks.
This continued even after the driver called up his higher-ups and yet still claimed that there were no exceptions when it came to masks. What further confused Beth was how there were only 3 children in the bus – meaning that social distancing was still very much possible.
The parents saw how disheartened Jack became after he was refused the ride. When the parents came to the garage to drive Jack to school after getting ready, they instantly panicked – Jack was nowhere to be seen.
Beth remembers the moment she realized that Jack was gone as a terrifying moment. Fortunately, a 14 year old girl who was being drove to school by her father saw Jack within minutes. He was playing around in a puddle.
After they drove Jack to school, the parents talked with the school staff who confirmed that Jack did not have to wear a mask to be allowed on the bus due to his autism. The staff also promised that Jack need not wear a mask for future rides.
Share with us your thoughts on this incident, and be sure to follow us on Facebook for more stories like this one.