DUPLIN COUNTY, N.C. — A student with special needs was left alone on a school bus here for several hours, WITN reports.
Jaysha Gray, the student’s mother, told the news source that her 7-year-old daughter, who is nonverbal and has autism, was left on a Duplin County Schools bus for about six hours on Nov. 21. She added that no one from the district told her what happened, but that her daughter's school principal apologized for the incident.
Gray told WITN that she dropped her daughter off at day care that morning, where she was then put on the school bus by day care employees. The day care employees confirmed to the news source that the student was placed on the bus as usual.
Later that day around noon, both Gray and the day care received phone calls from the school, saying that the student was not there and that no one had called in her absence, WITN reports. Gray told the news source that about an hour later the school called her back saying that her daughter was found on the bus. She also said that her daughter appeared "shaken up and was acting unusual" when she arrived at the school after hearing about the incident.
Duplin County Schools confirmed that the student was left alone on the bus, according to WITN. Dr. Austin Obasohan, the superintendent for the district, said in a statement, obtained by the news source, that the “safety and well-being of our students is the highest priority” and that the district “has procedures in place to ensure that students are properly supervised at all times.” Obasohan also said that “if these procedures are not followed, the school system takes swift and appropriate action.”
A day after the incident occurred, Jaysha Gray told WITN that she resumed her normal routine, dropping her daughter off at day care to be put on the school bus, which had the same driver from when her daughter was left alone.
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