MANCHESTER, Pa. — A 7-year-old student was stranded on his school bus for more than five hours on Monday, and the driver of the bus was fired as a result.
The Northeastern School District first-grader fell asleep on the bus and didn’t get off at his school in Elizabethtown. Officials said that the driver returned the bus to its designated parking spot in Manchester but did not complete the mandatory bus check.
“When the bus driver came back to the bus to start the afternoon route at approximately 1:30 p.m., the driver found the student inside the bus and immediately notified the district’s bus contractor, F&S Transportation,” district officials said in a statement. “F&S Transportation contacted the student’s parents and called the school district.”
Police were contacted to investigate the incident. According to press reports, authorities don’t intend to file charges. However, the driver was terminated by F&S.
The contractor reported to the district that it will implement electronic child-reminder systems, which require drivers to walk to the back of the bus to disengage them, for the start of the 2011-12 school year. F&S also reported that it would be reviewing the mandatory bus-check procedures with all of its bus drivers.
“The Northeastern School District recognizes the seriousness of the incident,” the district statement said. “Therefore, we are currently reviewing our transportation and attendance procedures to ensure the safety of every student.”
The district said that the boy has returned to school and that “the district is offering support to the family and the student.”
WHTM reported that the 7-year-old wrote a note to his parents while he was stranded on the bus.
“You are probably sad," the boy wrote. "I was on the bus all day long with nobody."