Courtesy of:  ABC15.com

LAVEEN, AZ - Video from inside a school bus shows just how long  a  4-year-old boy with special needs was left
alone
, and overlooked,  after being taken to school last week.

The surveillance footage was obtained Wednesday by ABC15, and it shows Floyd Smith left on the bus by himself for 11 minutes.

Jennifer Ponce said her son, Floyd Smith, got on the school bus around 11:30 a.m. April 22 to attend the preschool program at Laveen Elementary School.  The video shows the bus on the way to the bus school yard after it left Floyd's school. The 4-year-old fell asleep and never got off, overlooked by both the bus driver and bus aide.

After about six minutes of being left alone, Floyd can be seen in the video, poking his head around a seat and appearing confused.

"At one point, he gets up and looks around and is clearly bewildered by the fact he's alone on that bus," said  Rudy  Resendez Jr ., the family attorney.

After several more minutes, a third school worker can be seen entering the bus, spotting Floyd, but not getting the boy any help. Instead,  the employee walked to the back of the bus and continued working.

"T  his employee, unfortunately, did not remove him from the bus but went about his business of putting the car seats 
into the other seats in the bus," said Resendez.  About five minutes later, the worker got off the bus and went to  get another
employee to help the young boy.

"I  think it clearly shows more training is necessary," said Resendez.

“It’s hard to imagine that someone would leave a child on the bus for even a split second or forget about him,” said Ponce.

At 1 p.m., the school left Ponce a voicemail informing her that her son never  arrived to class, 30 minutes after class started. Around 1:26 p.m., she received a second voicemail saying her son had been found after being left on the school bus.

Ponce said her son is in special education for speech and other problems and unable to provide any answers himself.

In a statement, the school district spokesperson Karen Menge said:

We take the safety of our students very seriously. We immediately started a thorough investigation into this incident. 
The transportation employees involved were placed on administrative leave. All transportation employees have been reminded of their responsibilities and the requirement to follow all procedures without exception. 
 

We have and will continue to review our transportation procedures to ensure a safe delivery of our students. 
 
Menge told ABC15 the district policy states transportation workers are supposed to inspect the bus for any children before
workers get off.

Menge said the school district has approximately 2649 students in the district that are eligible to ride a bus

Article & Video Online: 
http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_west_valley/laveen/boy-left-on-school-bus-video-4-year-old-with-special-needs-left-alone-on-laveen-school-bus
 
 
Courtesy of Gus Rosendale @ NBCNewYork.com

Parents in Newark, N.J., are outraged after finding out a 3-year old boy was left alone on a bus for hours.

A 3-year-old New Jersey boy who was reported missing when he failed to show up to school Tuesday morning was found sleeping on the bus that was supposed to drop him off, officials said.

The boy's mother said she received a call from the McKinley School in North Ward, N.J., saying her child had not arrived at school, officials said. She told officials her son had been placed on the bus that morning.

That's when the school contacted the bus company, and workers checked the bus. The boy was found sleeping on a seat, according to school officials.

Officials said the bus driver and an aide were fired by the private bus company, Belair, which operates in Orange, N.J.. The company declined to comment.

Video/Articles Online: 
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/New-Jersey-3-Year-Old-Boy-Left-Sleeping-Bus-North-Ward-McKinley-205497191.html

http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2013/04/3-year-old_boy_goes_missing_fo.html
 
 
Courtesy of:  Corey Rangel @ ABC15.com

LAVEEN, AZ - A 4-year-old boy with special needs was left alone on a school bus Monday afternoon after two different school employees on the bus overlooked the boy who had fallen asleep.

Jennifer Ponce said her son, Floyd Smith, got on the school bus around 11:30 a.m. Monday to attend the preschool program at Laveen Elementary  School. At 1 p.m., the school left her a voicemail informing her that her son never arrived to class, 30 minutes after class started.

Around 1:26 p.m., she received a second voicemail saying her son had been found after being left on the school bus. When she called looking for answers, Ponce said the school district didn’t know many details.

“I still don’t know how long he was on the bus,” said Ponce. “It’s hard to imagine someone that someone would leave a child on the bus for even a split second or forget about him,” said Ponce.

Ponce said her son is in special education for speech and other problems and unable to provide any answers himself.  Karen Menge, a spokesperson for Laveen Elementary School District, told ABC15  the district was still investigating how the bus driver and the bus aide missed the boy.

He was found on the bus at the district’s school bus yard, about 2 miles from the boy’s school, by a third employee. The boy was still strapped in his seat, similar to a car seat.

The high temperature in Phoenix on Monday reached 94 degrees.

After he was found, the boy was taken to class and his mother was called.

 “I feel like he was neglected. If this was me – if someone saw me get  out of the car to walk in to get gas or to walk in and grab something at the grocery store, my son would not be with me today. I would be in jail and he would be in CPS [Child Protective Services] custody,” said Ponce.

Menge said it’s still not clear how long the boy was left alone.  “Every procedure and protocol we are revisiting just to make sure that everything is being followed and also to see if there any changes that need to be made,” said Menge.

Menge said she was not sure if there was surveillance video on the bus.  She also did not know if the bus driver or student aide had been disciplined or if they were back at work.

The Department of Public Safety told ABC15 it’s investigating the incident to  determine if any action should be taken regarding the driver's license to operate a bus.  While Ponce waits for answers, she said it’s hard to imagine what could have happened to her son if he hadn’t been found sooner.

“I don’t want to think about it. Something really could have happened to him.  He could have wandered off the bus, got ran over or God forbid he could have died inside that bus,"  said a tearful Ponce.

Ponce said she planned to meet with the school district on Wednesday morning to get more details about what happened.

Read more: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_west_valley/laveen/4-year-old-boy-with-special-needs-left-alone-on-school-bus#ixzz2RTNJAvnf
 
 
And these are ONLY those that have been reported to the media and/or searchable via Google Online. 
Could there be MORE incidents unreported?

What is YOUR local school system doing to prevent this from happening?

1.  Feb 6 - Macon - 10-year-old special needs child with Autism left alone on School Bus for over 6 hours
http://www.13wmaz.com/news/article/215883/153/Special-Needs-Child-Left-On-School-Bus-For-Hours

2.  Feb 7 - Snellville - 6-year-old left on Day Care Bus
http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2013/mar/06/child-left-on-day-care-bus-for-more-than-an-hour/

3.  Feb 21 - Dawson - 4-year-old left on locked school bus alone for undetermined number of hours - at Bus Driver's home
http://www.walb.com/story/21310208/4-year-old-left-on-terrell-co-school-bus

4.  Mar 18 - Madison - Pre-K child left alone on School Bus - found wandering alone by city workers near a well station
http://www.msgr.com/lake_oconee_news/news/article_85d02006-9d39-11e2-9960-0019bb2963f4.html
http://morgancountycitizen.com/?q=node/23048


 
 
Courtesy of:  Renee Tessman

FARMINGTON, Minn. - Bus drivers and aides on buses carry a responsibility.  Parents rely on them to keep their kids safe from home to school.

For the family of a three-year-old, who Friday, was forgotten on a school bus for four hours, the message is a serious one.  Elliott Johnson played a video game on a tablet Saturday, while sitting on his father's lap.

He spoke to his parents a little, but in general, Elliott doesn't say a lot. He has childhood apraxia, a speech disorder. His mother, Elizabeth Johnson said, "He doesn't speak well and he's very shy."

He's getting preschool help with his speech through Farmington Area Schools at the district's Instructional Service Center.

That's where he was headed Friday morning, around 8 a.m., when his mom Elizabeth Johnson put him on a school bus, with a bus driver and a bus aide on board.  She said, "He was in the front seat right behind the bus driver strapped
in."

But Elliott never got to school.

Elizabeth said, "I was speechless I just couldn't believe it."  When Elliott didn't come home at noon, Elizabeth called the school.  They told her he was never there.  She called the bus service, Marschall Line, Inc. and a dispatcher found Elliott alone, still strapped in on that bus, at the bus terminal.

Elizabeth said, "For four hours I sat here thinking my son was at school. He's having fun, playing, learning.  And here he is sitting on a bus alone in the dark."

Elliott's dad, Jesse Johnson, said, "It's so heartbreaking.  Someone looses your kid and you have no clue where they are."

Jim Skelly is communications coordinator for Farmington Area Schools.  He said, "We're just very sorry that it did happen."  He continued, "There's procedures and policies in place to make sure that they don't happen, this kind of thing doesn't happen, and they just weren't followed."

Marschall Line, Inc., the bus company, issued a statement calling it a serious human error and said, "We offer our sincere apologies to the student and family involved." The statement also said, "Due to the serious breach of expectations, protocol and procedures related to student safety, both the bus driver and bus aide involved in the incident have been terminated."

The Johnsons are glad Elliott is safe but they want to send a message to all bus drivers and bus aides.  Elizabeth said, "Open their eyes.  Look through the seats.  Look under seats. Make sure their kids are not in the buses."

The Johnsons said they love Farmington schools and have never had any other problems with busing, so their older kids will continue to ride, but not Elliott. He told them he doesn't want to ride the bus anymore.

Elizabeth said the district offered to pay her mileage for transporting Elliott herself but she said she's not interested in the money.  They also offered to let Elliott talk to a school psychologist if she felt there was a need after this incident.

The bus company said it has an ongoing safety training program and will review procedures to avoid any other incidents.

Article Online:  http://www.kare11.com/news/article/1021433/391/3-year-old-left-alone-on-school-bus-for-4-hours
 
 
Courtesy of:  M. Elizabeth Neal with the Lake Oconee News

MADISON – A Morgan County School System bus driver accidentally abandoned a pre-kindergarten student on a school bus last week after other students had departed the vehicle at the Morgan County Primary School.

The driver left the vehicle in the lot of the bus shop where most drivers park their assigned vehicles during the day.
 
The child was later found wandering upset and alone near the bus shop by city of Madison workers.

The incident occurred despite an alarm system each driver must disarm by walking to the rear of the bus before departing the vehicle. The alarm was switched off as programmed—meaning that the driver made the trip to the rear of the bus to turn it off—but she somehow missed seeing the child in the process, said Morgan Schools Superintendent Ralph Bennett. Presumably the child was sleeping, he added.

A letter of reprimand was placed in the driver’s file. No other personnel action is planned, he said, adding, “She’s one of our very best drivers.” He would not identify the driver.

According to the Georgia Department of Education Bus Driver Training Manual, school bus drivers can be terminated and prosecuted for a Class IV felony for leaving a child on a school bus.

Bennett said last week’s incident is the first he has encountered since becoming superintendent of schools in 2011.

Article Online:  http://www.msgr.com/lake_oconee_news/news/article_85d02006-9d39-11e2-9960-0019bb2963f4.html