Story by Caitlin Doornbos, courtesy The Lawrence Journal World
Eudora Public Schools has fired a school bus driver after a preschool student fell asleep on a bus and spent nearly two hours alone and away from school.
The unnamed driver picked up the child about 11:40 a.m. Wednesday to take the child to afternoon preschool at Eudora Elementary School, schools spokeswoman Kristin Magette said. When the other children got off the bus around noon, the sleeping preschooler remained on board, Magette said.
The bus driver then took the bus home, where the driver went inside, Magette said. The child remained on the bus.
About 1:45 p.m., a passerby noticed the preschooler crying in the road and called Eudora Elementary, Magette said. The school resource officer then came to take the child back to school, and the child’s parent was notified.
Magette said the school was not expecting the child because the preshooler’s parent had called earlier in the day about the child having an appointment.
Eudora Public Schools require bus drivers to walk to the back of the bus, checking each seat after every bus route. Because it was apparent the driver did not complete this task, the driver was fired, Magette said.
“We have clear, strict safety procedures for this very reason,” Magette said. “It’s clear they were not followed, which results in immediate termination.”
Magette said she did not know the child’s age, but to be in the preschool program, the child would have had to be 3, 4 or 5 years old.