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Left on the bus

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SORRENTO - A six-year-old boy left on a bus after two school system employees neglected to check the bus properly before getting off likely had a seizure, the boy's doctors told his parents.

Anthony Lipps-Fugarino suffers from epilepsy and takes a special needs bus to Sorrento Primary.  Tuesday morning, he was left on the bus for nearly two and half hours before any adult realized where he was.

"My heart dropped when I found out about it, my wife's heart dropped, and all I was concerned about was the health of my son," said Tommy Fugarino, Anthony's father.

According to the boy's parents, no one realized he was missing until he turned up absent in class and his teacher and principal began searching for Anthony.

The bus typically has two adults on board, the driver and an aide, but neither saw Anthony, who may have suffered the seizure before the bus was abandoned.

The boy's parents were under the impression that an on-board camera may have recorded the medical emergency, but the Ascension Parish School Board said cameras typically stop recording when the engine is turned off.

"Without the information, we have no idea what kind of damage they did to my son, we have no clue, and they haven't given us the information, it's key when you have a seizure to get help immediately," said Ann Lipps, Anthony's mother.

The school system said it plans to review any footage from Tuesday morning and contact the parents.

Superintendent Patrice Pujol released a statement: "The safety and wellbeing of our students is our highest priority. We are taking this incident very seriously. Our training and daily protocols require all bus drivers to check the bus for students before exiting the bus. We are doing a thorough investigation into this incident and will take the necessary steps to address this particular situation and assure no such incident occurs again."

Anthony's parents said they do not plan on suing the school system, though that option has not been taken off the table.

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