October 05, 2006

OC School Driver Leaves Kid in Bus all Day

Seriously? Yes, seriously. Now we have all had those moments where we forget to finish unloading the groceries or leave them at the checkout. We've all had those moments of locking our keys in the car. But, locking a kid in the bus all day? To be fair, we don't know if the THIRD grader was trapped in the bus all day or not. But, he was IN the bus all day, and since most third graders aren't beyond the point of being afraid, I think we can assume - he was probably trapped. Maybe not, maybe he decided to hang out for an entire day on the bus.

HILLSBOROUGH -- An Orange County Schools bus driver was fired last week after he left a child on a bus an entire school day.

The third grader at Pathways Elementary was apparently asleep on Sept. 26 when the driver unloaded his bus at the school, said Anne D'Annunzio, a spokeswoman for the district. However, drivers are supposed to check all of the seats on the bus for students after unloading, she said.

"Apparently that was not done," D'Annunzio said. "This is very serious and we had to take serious action because of it."

District procedure states that leaving a child on a bus is grounds for termination, she said.

No kidding.
Last week's incident is another in a series of troubles that has plagued the Orange County Schools transportation department since classes began in August.


Parents reported their children arriving home two hours after school dismissed, or not being picked up in the morning at all. Some parents said their children were picked up in the morning after school began.

I wonder why the Orange County school district is having trouble hiring bus drivers? I didn't have to time make the calls on Friday, but next week I'm going to see if I can track down starting wages for city drivers, Chapel Hill/Carrboro school drivers, Durham school drivers, etc. My gut tells me that they are underpaying bus drivers, which is why they have a hard time filling the seats and end up with drivers that don't bother crossing their T's and dotting their I's.

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