An open letter from a former Katy ISD bus driver. I gave her the option of anonymity, but she bravely decided to go on the record. If you have a story to share, anonymously or not, please contact me.
Dear Mr. Sean,
I was a Katy ISD bus driver from January 2009 to June 2013. I first became a regular bus driver and then moved up to a special needs route.
I witnessed for days a school para at Cinco Ranch High School in (I believe) April of 2013 abusing a special needs, non verbal wheelchair bound student. She would take a hold of this young mans hair and jerk his head back and forth. She would then take his toys in his lap and throw them on the ground and then dump him out onto the ground which he would then try to get back up into his chair. She would pick him up and slam him back into the chair.
It took me several weeks to find out who the boy was and the para. I then went and informed my boss about the abuse. I was then told I needed to see the head of Special Needs, Nancy Kessler and I once again told her of what had happened and they had me fill out a report about it. 2 days later I had to meet with two men, by myself in a closed room, from HR to go over again what I had seen. One mans name was Skip Baskerville and the other was Charles ???? Skip was the hard one. Very arrogant. I was not at all given the opportunity to have anyone from my department in the room with me.
They took my statement and said I had done the right thing. After a week or so, I had not heard anything and asked if the boy was ok. All the aides and paras at Cinco Ranch High School treated me like I had the plague. The two men once again came to West Transportation to talk with me.
Again, by myself and behind closed doors. I was informed by Mr. Baskerville that they were trying to figure out what to do with me since I had evidently had a vendetta against the para that I had turned in and they could not find one witness to what I had saw. There had been 11 adults outside and several other bus drivers. My aide saw everything but when questioned she said she saw nothing. Not one camera was working either.
A para that rode my bus daily had even saw it and told me that it was worse in the classroom but there again, saw nothing of what I was talking about.
I asked what did he mean by what they needed to do with me and he said that I was looking at being fired for falsely accusing someone. I reminded him that it was and is the law. We have to report abuse. I got upset and stood up to leave and said dont worry about what to do with me, I am not coming back next year.
I walked out to my truck and Mr. Baskerville was on the phone with someone and I heard him state, “Problem Taken Care Of”.
I have several friends that have been abused and harassed by Diana Felcman to the point that they have either been fired or they have quit due to the constant abuse from her and Sherry Neiland.
You now have my story. I can get others to write theirs if you think it might help to stop this abuse of power and pure hatred.
-Dianne Okita, former Katy ISD Bus Driver
Shortly after this was posted on Facebook, Dianne reached out to me saying that her post had angered some people and that she was receiving many phone calls. Her response to these people is to simply tell the truth.
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