GOLETA, Calif. — A 4-year-old student with special needs was left alone on a school bus for four hours when the driver forgot to drop him off along with the three other students aboard, KEYT reports.

On the morning of July 6, Mirna Ramirez, Emilio Garcia’s mother, put him on the bus that was taking him to summer school, according to the news source. She told KEYT that the bus driver brought the other three children on the bus to school, drove to the bus yard, parked the bus and left, with Garcia still strapped in his seat. Four hours later when the bus driver returned to the bus, she saw that Garcia was still on board, Ramirez added.

Ramirez received a phone call from the Goleta Union School District telling her what happened while she was waiting for the boy to come home at around noon, according to the news source. She told KEYT that she arrived at the bus yard and found her son, who was scared and crying. He was checked out by a paramedic and cleared to go home, according to the news source.

William Banning, the superintendent of Goleta Union School District, told KEYT that the district is taking the incident seriously, that the district has protocols in place to prevent such incidents. He did not discuss whether the bus driver had been disciplined or fired, since the investigation is ongoing, but said that the district will share the outcome of the investigation with Ramirez once it is complete.

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