Special needs pre-k student gets off bus at wrong stop

Jared Felkins • Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 8:58 AM

It was a case of mistaken identity both by a substitute bus driver and a first-day-on-the-job daycare worker Wednesday when a Sam Houston Elementary School special needs student ended up getting off a Lebanon school bus at the wrong stop.

Director of Schools Scott Benson said the 3-year-old special needs class at Sam Houston Elementary School lets out at 11:15 a.m., and a bus takes five students from that class to their respective stops each day.

However on Wednesday, a substitute bus driver drove the route for the first time and realized a mistake had been made when she got to the last stop. Benson said a parent at the last stop got on the bus – which is allowed due to the special needs of the children – and realized the last child left wasn’t his.

He said the next-to-last stop on the route was at a daycare.

“The daycare worker who got on the bus to get the child, it was her first day on the job,” Benson said. “The child was never unattended. It’s unfortunate the situation happened, but it did.”

Benson said the child was at the daycare for about 10 minutes before parent and child were reunited. And Benson equates the incident to a perfect storm.

“We used that phrase when we got together to go over ways to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” he said. “The good thing is that the child is safe, and we know now what needs to be done to correct this.”

Benson said new procedures include placing name badges on each of the children, placing a nametag on the bus where each student sits, initiating a sign-out procedure for parents and other care workers and adding an aide on the bus each day.  He said the new procedures would be in place starting Thursday. 

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