Friday, 11 September 2015

Strike One for the School Board this year

Unlike baseball, the school board never quite runs out of strikes while they're at bat.  But we've gotten our first swing and a miss this year.

Alex is still doing half days of therapy, so he needs to be picked up in the middle of the day at school.  Last year, the school board arranged for his regular transport van to pick him up and drop him off at home.

This year, we've been told we can't because we're paying for the therapy, which makes it a private, voluntary service and thus our own problem to make sure he gets there.  (I've heard of other parents being denied because they are in the AIPEO program and the school said it should provide it's own transportation, which it doesn't ... I smell cost-saving denial of service here.)

This isn't the end of the world.  The school is less than a five minute drive away (getting a red light almost doubles my commute time) and I work from home with an understanding boss.  Also, Alex will be wrapping up therapy, so I only need to worry about it for the next few months.

I'm annoyed at the principle of the matter.  He's not permitted to walk or ride the regular bus because of his diagnosis but they aren't willing to drop him off at his home for therapy?  If I was asking them to drive him across town, I could see an argument in their favour, but not this.  I could appeal, but the process takes several weeks, at which point the need would be almost over anyway. 

I could fight this battle, but it's not worth my effort, which ends up bothering me as well.  Because organizations like this (looking at you, insurance companies) rely on keeping things just difficult enough to discourage people from asking for what they're entitled to.  And as long as it works, they'll keep doing it.  It's the tyranny of bureaucracy where getting the numbers to add up is more important than doing what was promised.

I'm lucky.  We're in a great school which is close with a great program and great staff.  This isn't an issue with the school, it's with the bureaucracy behind them.  The one more interested in making sure the rules are followed than in common sense and compassion.

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