Bus drops off 4-year-old alone
by The Press and Standard | October 3, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: October 2, 2019 at 3:06 pm
A Colleton County four-year-old was put on the wrong bus and dropped off alone at his home last week, upsetting everyone involved.
The child’s grandmother, Karen Jenkins, was distraught when he didn’t get off the bus at Colleton Middle School, where she picks up him. Turns out, he got off the bus at the apartment complex where he lives with his mother, who just happened to be at home. “He was not even supposed to be on there he was put on the wrong bus and dropped off alone,” Jenkins said.
The bus driver was in tears after she found out what had happened — she’s a grandmother too, said Colleton County School District Transportation Director Gary Bradley, adding this was an isolated incident. Apparently, the four-year-old was a new student and he got off the bus before the driver noticed.
Jenkins said she initially spoke to the school and the bus office, as well as emailing the district office, but got no immediate response. All did eventually respond, however.
All of the county’s bus drivers are now getting a refresher course on the policies related to this incident, Bradley said. Children’s bookbags are tagged with a color that corresponds to the bus they are supposed to ride. Apparently, this child was put on the incorrect bus at the school, which started the chain of events.
“The drivers are receiving an overview of how critical this policy is. They had the training earlier in the year, but we’re putting it back on the front burner,” Bradley said. The procedure is that if a child has no parent waiting for them at their stop, the bus driver calls the bus supervisor’s office, which then calls the school, which then contacts the parent(s). The bus driver then delivers the child back to the school, he said.
The school district has over 6,000 students, most of whom ride the bus, said CCSD Public Information Officer Sean Gruber.
“We are going to retrain all of the drivers to make sure they know how critical this is,” Bradley said. “We do a lot right every day getting children to and from schools safely.”