Mother wins fight to move school bus stop closer to home

A Halton Region woman has won her human-rights battle with her local school board, after they refused to moved a school bus stop to make it easier for her to get her children to class.

Halton District School Board settles case that landed at Ontario Human Rights Tribunal

A Halton Region woman has won her human-rights battle with her local school board, successfully arguing that her children's bus stop should be moved closer to her house.

The school board said its policy was to move a bus stop to accommodate children with disabilities, but not parents. (CBC )

The single mother, who asked that CBC News withhold her name to protect her children, lives with a permanent spinal cord injury.

"When I was walking my son to the bus stop, that was painful for me to have to do," she said in an interview.

Some days, the pain was too much for her to walk her elementary-aged children to the designated stop. If a neighbour or friend couldn't help out, the kids wouldn't get to class.

She asked the Halton District School Board to accommodate her disability and move the bus stop closer to their home.

"I was asking for the stop to be put at the corner. There's a four-way stop right at the corner, and the bus went past there," she said.

The board declined because its policy spelled out that a bus stop move happens only when a child has a disability.

The mother took her case to Ontario's Human Rights Tribunal. In an interim decision last February, it ordered the school board move the bus stop.

A final settlement was reached this week to change the board's policy for all such cases.

Barbara Hall, Ontario's human rights commissioner, worked with the school board to come up the new policy.

"It's a result that we see as a best practice for students in schools in all parts of the province," she said.

The case could set a precedent for parents with disabilities across Ontario.

"I hear that parents with disabilities are having trouble being accommodated by the schools," said Sandra Carpenter of Toronto's Centre for Independent Living.

"For this to happen in this day and age is sort of a shame."

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