Special needs Bronx students left out of class trip

THE BRONX - Some special needs students at I.S. 162 in the Bronx watched as buses full of their classmates left bound for a senior class trip Monday.

PTA member Gladys Drew said the school notified parents last week that some disabled and special education students would not be allowed on the trip. She blames the school, saying poor planning led to a failure to secure handicapped-accessible buses.

"They were supposed to have called Pupil Transportation to make arrangements for these kids. They called but [Pupil] said no, it's too late for them to get a bus because they were supposed to have done this six weeks in advance," Drew said.

Parent Elizabeth Cardova said the students worked as hard as their classmates. "A lot of them had their hearts broken because they were looking forward to a senior trip just like everyone else," Cardova said.

The Department of Education counters that the principal sent a letter to parents notifying them they had until May 31 to respond so the school could reserve the right bus. However, the DOE says no parents responded by the deadline.

One wheelchair-bound student did go on the trip. Her mother carried her onto the bus and her wheelchair was stored in the luggage compartment.

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