Special needs child left on LI school bus after driver fails to do check

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BAYSHORE, Long Island (PIX11) — Jarrell Dent isn’t too fond of buses.

When PIX 11News asked the six-year-old if he thinks he’s ever going to ride the bus again, his response was simply, “No.”

Understandably so, after what took place last Friday inside of a Suffolk County bus yard located in Bayshore. “I was stuck on the bus,” said Dent on Thursday.

Dent, who is a special needs student and rides in a school bus van, took a nap on the way home from school. But, he never made it home. “I was trying to open up the back window, Dent said. When asked what happened, Dent responded the way one would a expect a six-year-old to: “I got scared on the bus.”

Dent’s mother Latiesha Arthur says she was shocked and disappointed when informed that her special needs son, who struggles with ADHD, had been left all alone by the driver whose responsibility it was to ensure his safety.

Sleeping child left alone on Long Island school bus

Dent said he never wants to ride the school bus again.

“Another worker brought him to me and said ‘you know there was an incident’ and I’m thinking, maybe it was a behavior thing, but when I called the company, I was told he was left on the bus. The bus driver parked the bus and left him on the bus, because he was sleeping.”

The incident, which was documented in a field report by the Third Precinct of the Suffolk County County Police Department, is inexcusable according to Thomas McAteer, the Executive Vice President of Suffolk Transportation Service. “I think it would be disingenuous to try and make an excuse.”

McAteer added that the technology to alert other drivers in the yard if there is someone left on board a bus is actually was helped draw attention to Dent.

This said, McAteer also added that there is no room for failure by any driver when a child is involved which is why they moved swiftly immediately following the incident. “We have a zero tolerance policy. The driver who was responsible for this young person has been terminated.”


  • A Parent

    Thankfully the child was found quickly. A parent's worse nightmare is when your child is missing. The driver should without a doubt be held accountable for their neglect, but was the driver really terminated??? Editors should read articles before allowing them to be posted. I think what the reporter meant was the driver's employment was terminated. I am sick to death of professional writers using improper English. Again, thank goodness the young boy was found. Something similar happened to my Special Needs child on his first day of kindergarten,.

    • SalusMatrix

      What if we divided up the job of watching kids in a school bus,
      between bus driver, parent and gave the older kids a way to call for help if ever forgotten in a school bus

      Would you pay $5/month to get a text msg when kids gets to school with a school bus ?
      If yes please sign-up at salusmatrix.com

      Another recent sad story
      Read more: http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/05/28/special-needs-

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