2nd child left on bus in Harrison Co. School District - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

2nd child left on bus in Harrison Co. School District

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

After two young students have been left on Harrison County School busses within recent weeks, the superintendent is outraged.

"What to say? I don't know what to say," said a frustrated Henry Arledge, the Harrison County School District Superintendent.

The driver and driver's aid were both fired after the first child was left. A new check policy was also put into place.

According to Arledge, at the start of the route, drivers have to put a card in the back of the bus, and retrieve it at the end of the route. That way, drivers have to walk the bus and check it for any students.   

However, last Monday another student was left asleep on the bus. 

"The bus driver didn't check the bus to see if the students had gotten off at school, and the school thought the child was absent," said Arledge. 

When the child woke up and found himself alone, he stayed on the bus for nearly five hours.  The first grader was discovered when the driver returned to the bus for her afternoon routes. 

That driver was also fired. The superintendent says there's no excuse. He says drivers are screened and trained, and repeatedly told to check the busses for children. 

"I think it's carelessness. I don't know what else to say. She just didn't check and that's her responsibility to check," said Arledge. 

The district is responsible for 14,000 students, 9,000 of which ride the busses each day.  The district has around 200 busses that run 250 to 300 routes. 

According to Arledge, the district usually has problems with the younger elementary kids falling asleep on the bus. 

Arledge says he may start requiring principals to check busses on their campus each day.  The district is also looking into a call system to check with parents if a child isn't in class.

Newer busses are equipped with an alarm that has an off switch in the back of the bus. It will buzz until the driver walks to the back and turns it off. This could be another option for the district, but Arledge says it would be expensive to upgrade the bus fleet.     

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