Correction: What would you do…if as the mother of a blind student you’re warned by the school superintendent about the school van driver’s background (over whose employment the superintendent has, inexplicably, no control), which includes at least three serious driving offences, including a DUI and reckless driving 12 years ago and another unspecified serious offense three years ago—and you don’t have a clue about addiction? (TAR Lite # 23)
1. Take matters into your own hands and henceforth drive your son to and from school?
2. Start driving your son, but also inquire as to why such a driver would be allowed to even drive, much less drive students, especially blind ones?
3. Raise a stink about such a driver being allowed to drive any student?
4. Allow the driver to continue driving your blind son to and from school, since there had been no “incidents” and your son really liked the driver?
Congratulations if you responded “# 4!” because that is exactly what Mrs. Sean Bucci decided, much to everyone’s detriment. Michael A. Tantillo, 41, picked up the 15-year-old student at around 4 p.m. and proceeded to drive him around for hours before dropping him off at home (safely) at 8 p.m. Tantillo, who it turns out not only has 15 driving citations since 1988 but also a record of violence and—stop the presses!—“drug and alcohol use”, has been charged with kidnapping, DUI and child endangerment. And yes, when he dropped the student off he was (allegedly) slurring his words and unsteady, had red, glassy eyes and failed sobriety tests.
It’s amazing how everyone enabled this driver. The school didn’t fire the firm that hired the driver, the driver’s employer didn’t fire him (they should never have hired him in the first place, but I digress) and the boy’s mother didn’t yank him right out of that van. She should possibly have pulled him out of the school, since it could be taking unwarranted risks elsewhere—think of how many alcoholic teachers are fully employed. This time, the boy got lucky. Next time, a kid who depends on everyone else for his safety might not be so fortunate. But it’s just another day in the life of nearly everyone failing to get the idea that alcoholics are capable of anything and recovering ones who have proven to society via a conviction for DUI that they need ankle bracelets.
Thank you Linda for your comment – we’ve updated our article to reflect your concerns.