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Seat belts on buses? One mom says yes after son suffers concussion in accident

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GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- A mother is calling for changes after her son suffered a concussion while riding home on the school bus. Ashley Tapp says the incident has convinced her that seat belts should be required on all school buses.

Ethan Robinson, 8, was riding home Monday in the back seat of a Grain Valley school bus when Tapp claims the driver turned a corner too sharply and hit the curb, causing Ethan to fly out of his seat and hit his head on the emergency door handle.

The school district did notify Tapp about what happened, and she took her son to the emergency room where doctors diagnosed him with a concussion.

Tapp believes better driver training and seat belts on school buses would have prevented this from happening.

"I just think if that would have been me driving in my car and somebody would have seen me drive too fast and hit a curb, I would have gotten a ticket for careless driving, endangering the welfare of a child and maybe no seat belt ticket," Tapp said. "It's okay for a bus driver to do it and causing my son to get a concussion and get injured with no seat belt. I just don't think that's right."

Grain Valley Assistant Superintendent Brad Welle declined FOX 4's request for an on-camera interview. But he called Ethan's injury "an unfortunate accident."

"We don't want buses hitting curbs," Welle said. "But sometimes it is unavoidable."

Welle said the school district has determined that the bus Ethan was riding on was not speeding or driving recklessly. He also says few states require seat belts on school buses, and some that do, don't necessarily require that passengers wear them.

Last week the Pembroke Hill school announced that beginning in the 2014-15 school year, all students will be transported on buses with 3-point seat belts on every trip to and from school. This in response to an accident in August that injured 22 Pembroke Hill 6th graders, when a school bus without seat belts flipped on its side.

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