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January 06, 2014  |   Comments (4)   |   Post a comment

2 children left on North Dakota school bus


FARGO, N.D. — Two students were left unattended on a school bus last Thursday morning after the driver failed to check the vehicle before disembarking, Park Rapids Enterprise reports.

Fargo School District No. 1 Business Manager Broc Lietz told the newspaper that the driver left the bus running in the bus yard at Valley Bus Co. As the driver exited the bus, another driver saw a child looking out a window on the door of the bus and reported that to Valley Bus. That child was taken off the bus and transported to an elementary school. The second child was discovered in a search later on the same bus.

Lietz also said that an electronic child-check reminder system on the bus didn’t engage because the bus was still running. John McLaughlin, general manager of Valley Bus, told Park Rapids Enterprise that the incident was driver error by an experienced driver, and he said that the driver “should have done the walk-through.” McLaughlin also said that he is still considering what disciplinary actions to take with the driver, and the company is going to review the child-check procedures again with all drivers.

To read the full story, click here.

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Read more about: North Dakota, post-trip child check

Crazzy how this is just a situation of lawyers wanting to make money oviously the bus was running the driver probably left them there for a few minutes how come in the 70 s this was normal I remember my bus driver leave the bus running with all the kids on it and it was ok back then if the bus was parked permanently and locked it would be serious then but children of yesterday had more competent and less money hungry parents than today that love to get a hard worker fired if it was in my bus yard this wouldnt have been such a huge deal if the driver left it running for a few minutes what's the big deal

aaron tadewald    |    Jan 10, 2014 12:54 PM

I don't believe there is any increase, probably a decrease in events as more districts find the device is standard on their new bus purchases. Of the some 5,000 children left sleeping on the school buses every year not a single death, abduction, or horrific injury in some two-decades, as far back as I researched a decade ago after my grandson was left sleeping on the school bus. This event can happen to ANY school bus driver, at any experience level, and is one of the safest unsafe events that can happen concerning the school buses. Actually is a procedural error, not so much a proven safety issue. Regardless, the error warrants some sort of action but does not qualify for termination where the bus driver's other performance is good, in my opinion. The drama never seems to end when concerning public schools. Before acting out a mob mentality, first find out if that bus was equipped with a simple working child check device, standard equipment on new school buses and an easy retrofit for older buses. If not equipped the school board is just as guilty, for failing to help protect both the children and their bus drivers from this procedural error. In this case the bus was equipped with the device, the device in waiting because the engine was allowed to run in very cold weather, understandable. Some would erroneously declare that habit ought to been established, not realizing that habit, laziness, not caring, is rarely the reason for this procedural error.

Jkraemer    |    Jan 10, 2014 12:12 PM

Reported answer by School Bus Company - driver error by an inexperienced driver. Corrected answer - We sent out an inexperienced driver. SBSI-School Bus Safety Improvements

Dwight -- DSBSI Ltd.    |    Jan 08, 2014 07:01 AM

Unfortunately, this seems to be an increasing problem again. I know in many districts, it is an automatic termination. Glad somebody found the kiddos before it turned into another situation.

Michelle    |    Jan 07, 2014 02:14 PM

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