Bus drivers and parents alike are concerned after a switch in transportation providers is leaving students with disabilities in Memphis riding in vehicles without seat belts and in some cases forced to wear a straitjacket-like harness.

In previous school years all special education buses used by Memphis City Schools had seat belts even though the safety devices are not required by state law. But when the district switched bus contractors this fall, seat belts were not included in the contract.

Now, bus drivers say they’re worried about children with disabilities who have trouble staying in their seats and may be prone to running about the bus.

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The only alternative currently available is a harness, which school district officials say “crisscrosses over the child’s chest and buckles into the seat.” But some parents have been reluctant to approve the more restrictive device, which one bus driver likened to a straitjacket, reports The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. To read more click here.