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Spotsylvania EA Backs Bus Drivers on Physicals

Some 50 bus drivers, members of the Spotsylvania Education Association (SEA), asked  the school board to change a new policy that requires them to get their annual physicals from a school division employee.

Wearing stickers reading, "Is there a doctor in the house?" more than a dozen bus drivers told the board their reservations about the new policy.

"It's all about the right to make the choice of your own doctor" to conduct the required physical, said Cindy Robinson, a bus driver who's also served in the Spotsylvania schools as a teacher's aide and secretary. The school board passed the new policy in August, she said, without any input from drivers, who learned about it at their back-to-school orientation. When they discussed the policy, many bus drivers learned they shared misgivings about having the physicals conducted in-house.

Robinson said that during a physical exam by a school division employee six or seven years ago, she was told she had a thyroid problem. "I was frantic," she said, until she was able to get in to see an endocrinologist who said there were no problems with her thyroid. Since that time, she's used her own physicians to conduct the physicals. "I take my health very very seriously, and I choose my doctors carefully," she said.

Other bus drivers told the board about their concerns. SEA member Katrina Duncan said that during her physical exam by the school division employee, she was asked questions about her sex life.

The drivers are now working one-on-one with board members to propose an alternative policy to the current one in place. Robinson added that the Association's support was integral to bringing the issue to light and getting it addressed. "Without the VEA behind us, I doubt that anyone would have spoken up."



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