The bus driver who left special needs student alone on a school bus in Revere for four hours has been fired. The bus monitor, an employee of Revere Public Schools (RPS) employee, who was working that day has also been placed on administrative leave.
The Department of Children and Families and the Revere Police are both investigating the incident.
The incident happened last Tuesday after the bus driver, who worked for VSP Livery Services and is contracted by RPS, and the monitor completed their morning pick up rounds. They told investigators that after they were done with their morning route they did not notice the boy because he was asleep in his booster seat.
The student is autistic and nonverbal.
The driver parked the bus for four hours and when he returned later in the day to begin his afternoon pick up and drop offs he noticed the boy and called RPS’s Transportation Department and drove to Revere High School at which point 911 was called.
Luckily the boy was unharmed.
Revere School Superintendent Dianne Kelly said there was ‘no excuse’ for the incident but reported that the child was ‘slumped over’ in his seat in the bus’s back bench. Also, the driver was a substitute for the route’s usual driver, was running late, was not familiar with the route and had gotten lost a few times that morning.
“We are extremely disheartened to make you aware of a situation that occurred (Tuesday) in which a young child was left on a transportation van rather than dropped off at his school as we and his family expected,” said Revere School Superintendent Dianne Kelly in a letter to parents. “Thankfully, this child was found safe and unharmed. We are currently working with the Revere Police and the Department of Children and Families to investigate this situation. Any person demonstrating an inability to safeguard children will not be employed by the Revere Public Schools or contracted to work with our kids.”
Kelly said the next day RPS reviewed safety protocols and transport expectations with all of its transportation department employees and with all school principals.
“We have also been in touch with the transportation companies outside of the district that drive some of our students to school to make sure they have done similar trainings with their employees,” said Kelly. “Please know that our first priority is ensuring the wellbeing of the children you entrust to us and we vow to do everything we can to prevent such an incident from occurring again.”
For their part VSP said they immediately fired the driver and reported that in the eight years that they have had a contract with RPS an incident like this has never occured.