WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Nearly four dozen catalytic converters were stolen from school buses in Agawam which impacted multiple school districts Wednesday morning.
Forty-four catalytic converters were stolen from 22 mini buses inside of the Agawam yard for Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative that serves multiple local school districts. The mini buses that were targeted primarily serve special education students in West Springfield and Agawam Public Schools.
In West Springfield, the superintendent says this incident impacted 180 students and for Agawam, it impacted around 50 students, according to the Mayor. West Springfield parents received a voicemail Wednesday morning saying, “Sorry for the early morning call from the Superintendent. Students who ride on a mini bus will not have transportation to or from school today.”
Each bus carries two to five students each and transports them to multiple schools a day. The West Springfield Superintendent, Tim Connor, says students who ride on a mini bus will not have transportation to or from school Wednesday. Connor got the call about the buses around 5:30 a.m.
“Frustrated. Disgusted. Because the people who did this obviously didn’t care who it impacted but I want them to know. They need to know and they need to be able to look themselves in the mirror and understand that there are 180 special education kids and families that were affected today,” Connor said.
West Springfield families who cannot transport their children were told they can do remote learning Wednesday. Connor says this is especially frustrating, as this group was prioritized to learn in person.
“These are the kids that most definitely need to be in the schools where remote learning does not work for these kids,” said Connor.
The bus company told 22News the majority of students should be able to have transportation Thursday after they’ve gathered buses from other districts and called dealerships for parts.