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May 02, 2011  |   Comments (2)   |   Post a comment

Driver, aide arrested for leaving special-needs student on bus


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A school bus driver and aide from the School District of Palm Beach County were arrested last Wednesday after a special-needs student was left on their bus for several hours, according to police.

Marlene Alexis and Kathleen Soufis are charged with child neglect and leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle.

State prosecutors and school district police said the women attempted to cover up the fact that they left the 3-year-old unattended on the bus, WPBF reports.

The student was picked up at his bus stop but never got off the bus, according to the probable cause affidavit. Alexis and Soufis did not find the child until they returned to the bus for their afternoon route, police said.

School district officials said that both women had been reassigned within the transportation facility since January, with no student contact. The district will assess the job status of the women if or when they are released.

Alexis and Soufis could remain in temporary positions involving no student contact pending the outcome of the criminal cases and employee relations investigations, the news source reports.  

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my district has a no tolerance for that they need to be let go from any school district jobs

jeff    |    May 11, 2011 10:10 AM

I've been a driving a school bus in Alabama for 12 years, and one of the last actions a driver is required to perform before exiting the bus is to walk it to ensure that no passengers remain on the bus. It's disturbing, to say the least, how both a driver and their aid could fail to perform such a simple, recurring task that only takes a moment to complete. It makes one wonder what was on their minds. Based on what I've read here, it would appear to me that they blatantly disregarded performing a required procedure before leaving the bus. One of my key jobs is to walk every bus as they return from their routes to verify that the drivers are performing their final walk of the bus. They take a card from the front of the bus and place it in the rear door's window. This added precaution helps to prevent the possibility of a child being left behind. It's unfortunate that the two individuals in this case will more than likely be harshly punished, but, they're responsible for the passenger being left on the bus. Had they both been performing their job appropriately, the child would have been found and taken care of as needed.

Kevin    |    May 02, 2011 06:51 PM

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