Meet the kind bus driver who watched over a boy with Down syndrome for a decade.

In the already unpredictable world of public schools, the school bus often serves as the ultimate harbinger of chaos.

Between the savage cliques and the general lack of adult supervision, it's basically "Lord of the Flies" on wheels.

And for the majority schools with ever-shrinking budgets and ever-shrinking staffs, it's the drivers of these buses who are assigned the unique responsibility of both containing that chaos and obeying the rules of the road.


Remember that family road trip you went on last fall? Or that time you had to shuttle half your kid's soccer team to practice? Try doing that with 30 kids every. single. day.


GIF from "Billy Madison."

But for Ty Coppola, a 19-year-old student from Fairport, New York, it was his bus driver who left a huge impression on him.

Ty has Down syndrome, and for the most part, communicates through nonverbal expressions. Like most of us, Ty relies on certain "constants" to help him get through the average day, a facet of his personality that his family tries to maintain as best as they can.

For the past 10 years, one of the biggest constants in Ty's life has been his bus driver, Scott Reynolds.


Photo from the Coppola family, used with permission.

A bus driver at the Fairport Central School District for the past 35 years, Scott quickly formed a bond of friendship with Ty, one of the 12 students on his daily route.

"We just hit it off," said Scot to WHAM in Rochester, New York. "He's a good kid."

The fist bumps and a how-do-you-dos that Scott shared with Ty often were a highlight of Ty's day, filling him with a positive mindset to bring into school.

"If I could ONLY show you a picture of how Ty’s face 'lights up' when we open the garage and he sees Scott open the doors of the bus every morning," described Ty's parents. "How he has a little extra 'spring' in his step when Scott says 'good morning, Ty' or 'what got into you today?'"

So when Ty's family found out that Scott would be retiring, they wanted to give him a truly unforgettable thank you.

On the eve of his retirement, the Coppola family presented Scott with a heartfelt letter thanking him for the profound influence he has had on their son's life.

"How can we explain that Scott has been so much more than 'just a bus driver' to Ty?" read the letter.

"He cheers him up, gets his day started positively every day, and ends it with a smile. He is like another dad, or at least a big brother to Ty. "

Ty's family went on to describe Scott as "irreplaceable" and someone who will hold "a special place in our hearts forever."

Ty and his family, used with permission.

If the recent PSA from CoorDown taught us anything, it's that Down syndrome is still a largely misunderstood affliction.

It is also one that acquires a unique and attentive support system, which Scott was willing to provide through simple kindness from the very first day that he picked Ty up.

"Ty has known Scott for many years," the letter read. "I think Scott can 'read him' as well as we can at times."

"It is not always the people with a big title or position of influence that make a difference in the lives of kids with disabilities. It is often those that provide direct care for them and spend time with them every day that make the biggest difference. Scott has been one of those people that care. Really care. I am so impressed by people like Scott. "

According to School Transportation News, Scott is still finding semi-employment as an AAA driving instructor, but he is eyeing retirement to help watch over his aging parents.

Ty, meanwhile, has a new driver now and continues to study at the School of the Holy Childhood.

The takeaway here is a simple one: BE NICER TO YOUR BUS DRIVERS (but also, pay it forward).

One of the amazing things about this whole human experiment is that we all possess the capabilities to almost effortlessly cause a positive change in our environment. It's the most immediately gratifying concept there is, next to Dippin' Dots, and one of the defining characteristics of what makes our species great.

But mainly, be nicer to your bus drivers.

Tell your children that their territorial spitball wars can wait until recess. Or at least lunch.

Your driver will thank you for it.

GIF from "Billy Madison."

More
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Life for a shelter dog, even if it's a comfortable shelter administered by the ASPCA with as many amenities as can be afforded, is still not the same as having the comfort and safety of a forever home. Professional violinist Martin Agee knows that and that's why he volunteers himself and his instrument to help.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

Believe
True
Macy's