News Stories

Special Needs Child Left on Bus, What Happened?

Whenever school starts there can always be a couple of mistakes here and there. From scheduling errors to the latest one bus mix-ups.

In Cape Coral, a special needs child fell asleep on the way to school. While the other nine children riding with him got off the bus and headed to class… he didn’t.

“We went all day with no knowledge of this, not knowing how my son was feeling from this, he doesn’t speak so he can’t tell me how he’s feeling about it”- Ryan Maldonado, Parent

A child left behind is scary especially if the child has special needs. We talked to Rob Spicker, the Communications Coordinator at the Lee County School District, who said, “the driver noticed that there was a child asleep on the bus, they called into dispatch and returned to the school. At no point was this child left unattended, at no point did that bus go back to the depot.”

So what’s the protocol when a child is left on the bus? What are the rules in place to make sure your child is not forgotten on the bus?

We talked to Nena Garrett a Bus Safety and Training Supervisor who said that after the children are dropped off at school the bus driver pulls over to a safe location and check before it heads to the bus depot.

“That’s how we train them you pull to a safe location, you walk to the back of the bus, even after you drop off at school. You go to the back of the bus because you might have forgotten your lunchbox or backpack or there might be a kid asleep. so we train them to walk all the way to the back,” said Garrett.

At no point was this child left unattended, at no point did that bus go back to the depot- Rob Spicker

In this case, the two adults on the bus who were in charge did mess up, but the situation was handled in a matter of minutes.

If there are any questions you might have regarding your child safety let us know. You can submit any concerns here .