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      News — back to school

      Florida 5-year-old girl dozes off on school bus, wakes up in garage

      Florida 5-year-old girl dozes off on school bus, wakes up in garage

      PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pasco County, Florida mother wants someone held accountable after she says her child recently fell asleep on a school bus and woke up in a bus garage.

      Alexis Hughes contacted WFLA, saying that her 5-year-old daughter Kensley was on her way from Cox Elementary to Pasco Elementary for an after school program on August 27. All of her classmates got off the bus, but Kensley was fast asleep inside.

      A spokeswoman for Pasco County Schools says the child was discovered after the bus went to its final destination, the bus garage.

      Although they admit procedures were not followed at Pasco Elementary, the spokeswoman insists the child was never left alone and that her safety was never in jeopardy.

      WFLA is digging into what went wrong and getting results. While there were two adults on the bus that day, only one was facing consequences until we started asking questions.

      “There is no room for error, absolutely zero, when it comes to children,” said Hughes.

      Hughes says her daughter is ordinarily rambunctious but always falls asleep in moving vehicles.

      “From point A to point B at some time, she had fallen asleep,” said Hughes.

      “I don’t know how long and I don’t know when.”

      The spokeswoman claimed the mistake was made at Pasco Elementary and that the driver and the aid didn’t realize Kensely missed her stop.

      We’re told a complete inspection was conducted at the bus garage approximately a mile away from the school. Kensley was discovered and returned to the after school program.

      “It angers me and it upsets me,” said Hughes.

      Hughes was told the bus assistant resigned but there was no update on the driver. She wanted full accountability, so she called 8 On Your Side Investigates.

      We called the district with questions.

      “What if any repercussions will the bus driver face?” asked investigative reporter Mahsa Saeidi. The spokeswoman said, the driver was not a regular and the aide was responsible for ensuring the kids got off the bus that day.

      “That’s crazy,” said Hughes.

      “Don’t tell me you can’t take on two tasks at once, driving a kid safely in a bus and also being aware that they’re off the bus,” she said.

      WFLA asked for the official school bus handbook.

      On page 37, the district lists its No Child on Board (Red Tag) Procedure. It states it’s a critical duty to ensure all kids are off the bus. It is the responsibility of both the driver and the assistant.

      We contacted the district again with this information. The spokeswoman said the driver’s discipline had not been completed but it’s in process.

      Here’s the full text of No Child on Board (Red Tag) Procedure:

      One of the most critical aspects of Driver and Transportation Assistant duties is to ensure that all students have departed the bus. After every run and upon returning to the compound, the Driver and the Transportation Assistant must conduct a complete inspection to verify that there is no child left on board. A complete inspection will include looking in and under the seats or anywhere that a child might hide or have fallen asleep. This is done by physically walking the length of the bus and checking. This should be done after each group of students has been dropped off. Never leave the bus unattended unless you are positive there is no student on board. It is the responsibility of both the Driver and the Transportation Assistant to ensure that no child is ever left unattended on a bus.”

      Late Friday, the spokeswoman told 8 On Your Side this clause only applies at the end of a shift when the driver and the assistant are back at the bus garage. Right now, WFLA is still waiting for clarification about the exact procedure required at the stops prior to the bus garage.

      Meantime, Hughes has taken her daughter off the shuttle bus, and Kensley is at a new school.

      There is a video of the incident, but a spokeswoman says it’s not available for release at this time due to potential litigation.

      District: School bus driver got 24 students off bus safely, put out flames after bus caught fire in Spartanburg County

      District: School bus driver got 24 students off bus safely, put out flames after bus caught fire in Spartanburg County

      SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) – A spokesperson for Spartanburg County District 6 said a bus driver was able to safely get 24 students off a school bus that caught fire Tuesday morning and then put out the dire.

      Cynthia Robinson with the school district said the bus caught fire on Glenn Springs Road in the Pauline community.

      School bus driver Jack Smith noticed smoke coming from the dashboard and then followed the district’s safety protocol and evacuated the bus.

      The two dozen students from Pauline-Glenn Spring Elementary, Gable Middle, and Dorman High School all got off the bus safely, Robinson said.

      Smith then grabbed a fire extinguisher and used it to put out the fire.

      Parents were notified and all the students were put on another bus to get to school.

      Robinson said Smith “did a wonderful job” handling the situation. He has been a bus driver for three years.

      'Go!' | Lost 1st grader told to get off the school bus blocks from her home

      'Go!' | Lost 1st grader told to get off the school bus blocks from her home

      A North Carolina couple is upset a bus driver forced their child to get off at the wrong stop, because she was the last one on the bus.

      Brittany Copeland and Arnold Johnson are thankful their 6-year-old daughter Laylah is okay. They know things could've taken a turn for the worst.

      "This could be a totally different interview right now," Copeland said tearfully.

      Copeland says her first grader was told to get off the bus, since she was the last one on. Even though little Laylah told the driver she didn't see her home, or parents. 

      "How she explained it, how he said it, he said just 'go!' So she's six years old, she's going to get off the bus," Copeland said. 

      Laylah was about three blocks from her house, and she didn't know where she was. "She said she was nervous and crying," Johnson said.

      Then, an act of kindness. A stranger, who happened to be a security guard just getting off work, spotted lost Laylah. "She ran up to her said 'hey are you the police I’m lost I don’t know where I am, the bus driver just told me to get off the bus he said 'go go,"' Johnson reenacted.  

      Johnson said she was smart enough to only go up to someone in uniform. But still, anything could've happened. "Anybody could have picked her up, there are so many cases where kids come up missing for little mistakes like this," Copeland said with tears in her eyes. 

      The parents hail the security guard, who wants to remain anonymous, as a hero. The security guard drover Laylah back to Joyner Elementary. It's something the parents said the bus driver should have done. 

      "With a 6-year-old telling you 'I don't see my parents, this is not where I stay,' why not take her back to the school why leave her somewhere she's unfamiliar?"

      Copeland and Johnson said they wanted to share their story so this doesn't happen to another family. "We just want parents to be on more of an alert when it comes to their children, school buses, and these bus drivers."

      Guilford County Schools responded with a statement that reads:

      “Guilford County Schools would like to apologize for any concern this situation caused our student and the family. Appropriate district protocols were not followed, and the driver has been removed from the bus pending further investigation.” – Nora Carr, Chief of Staff