Boy left on bus forces meeting

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 6, 2010

By David Vitrano


RESERVE – When a frantic knock on a seldom-used door of the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board meeting room sounded, it got the attention of the community members in attendance waiting for the board’s return from executive session. When a bawling kindergarten student stumbled in, curiosity turned to concern.

The young boy had fallen asleep on a school bus and awoke to find himself alone in the parking lot at the central office.

The boy’s parents were called, and he was retrieved, but the incident caused Superintendent Courtney Millet to call an emergency meeting with the district’s bus drivers Friday.

Millet said at the well-attended meeting she went over a list of notes concerning bus safety.

“They play such an important role,” said Millet.

She said she wanted to gather everyone together to make sure they were all on the same page.

“In our system, we all have to work together,” she added.

Covered at the meeting were various safety procedures every bus driver in the district must follow, including checking the bus before a route begins and again after a route to make sure all children have safely disembarked. She said these are policies mandated by the district on all bus drivers.

The driver who left the child on the bus, however, was a substitute bus driver, so no formal disciplinary action will be taken. Millet did say, however, the driver in question would not be substituting again.

Millet spoke with the parents of the child again on Friday morning and said the boy is fine, if a little shaken up.