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Driver left special needs child on EBR school bus; 5-year-old found hours later in Baker

1 month 2 days 19 hours ago Thursday, January 05 2023 Jan 5, 2023 January 05, 2023 4:55 PM January 05, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Family members say a child with special needs was never dropped off at school after a bus driver failed to realize the boy was left alone on her bus.

The boy's great-grandmother, Pleasant Hebert, told WBRZ the 5-year-old, who goes to school in Baton Rouge, was found in Baker. She said the child's usual bus got stuck in mud at Capitol Middle School, and students had to move to a different bus with another driver to get to school.

An EBR Schools spokesperson said the driver, who was a substitute, failed to check all the seats, and the boy was still on the first bus when it was taken to Baker. 

Hebert, the boy's guardian, said she only knew something was wrong after the school called to let her know that her great-grandson wasn't there. After hours of searching, the school got in touch with the driver and found the boy sleeping on the bus.

"It was a day from hell for me. I was nervous, my blood pressure was up, I didn't know what to do," Hebert said. 

"I mean, for four hours, this poor baby had no water, no food. He is trapped on the darn school bus. That's sad. That's pathetic," she continued. 

The school system said that the driver did not follow policy and that she will be retrained as a disciplinary action.

"The bus driver apparently did not follow the 'Sleeping Children Policy,' which is to go through and make sure no students are left on that bus," said Ben Lemoine, a spokesman with EBR Schools. 

The driver could face termination if anything similar happens again.

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