PATERSON, N.J. — Two school bus drivers and two aides have been fired after two children were left alone on school buses in two separate incidents.
Yesterday morning, a 6-year-old boy fell asleep while on route to Urban Leadership Academy elementary school. Apparently, the driver and bus aide never checked the bus for sleeping children.
The superintendent called this "the second incident of blatant neglect" by private bus companies serving Paterson Public Schools.
Last Friday, the same thing happened. A 5-year-old kindergartner was left behind after falling asleep on the way to Dale Avenue elementary school.
"This is unacceptable and I am not having this on my watch," said Acting State District Superintendent Eileen Shafer. "We cannot jeopardize the safety of our children due to an adult's neglect."
Shafer warned the bus companies involved, A1 Elegant and US Student, that if this happened again they would be fired.
"To me, they should have fired them," commented Nelly Massari, a mom of five. Two of her daughters attend one of the schools involved. "Get someone more reliable. Because they can’t just be leaving kids on the bus like that."
The families of both children who got left on the bus have been notified.