ROY, Utah – The Weber School District is apologizing to a Roy family after a four-year-old boy was accidentally left on a school bus for hours. Some parents with similar experiences say legislators need to pass a law that could prevent this from happening again.
Earlier this month, Miles Hubert got on the bus to Midland Elementary School, but the driver and an aide reportedly failed to notice they left him after they dropped off the other kids.
On Tuesday, the Weber School District issued a statement saying they investigated the situation, and found Miles was left unattended on the bus for about two hours. The statement says even though he wasn’t hurt, it still doesn’t excuse what happened.
The statement reads, in part…
“After carefully reviewing what had occurred, it was determined there was no malicious intent on the part of the employee(s) involved. However, certain safety protocols were not followed which led to the child being accidentally left on the bus after the route had ended. Due to privacy laws, the district is not releasing specific information regarding the disciplinary action taken against the employee(s) involved.”
“District and transportation officials have reached out to the family, offering our sincerest apologies for what took place. The district has also conducted a review of our transportation policies and will be making any necessary adjustments to ensure this type of thing never happens.”
After seeing the report on the news, other parents called KSL saying they’ve had similar experiences in other districts, and all of them reportedly happened after the bus driver failed to walk the length of the bus to look for kids who may have been left behind.
Amanda Davis tells KSL this happened with her daughter last November in the Jordan School District. She says her kindergartener was left on a bus for a few hours until the driver realized what had happened.
Davis says, “The driver let me know what had happened, and she was very shaken and upset that it had happened.”
However, Davis says the district acted quickly once they realized their mistake.
“We talked with the bus director later that day who said, ‘We have maintenance crews out on the buses and, right now, they’re fixing all the alarms,’” Davis says.
Many buses are equipped with alarms that alert once a bus driver turns off the engine. The alarm is placed all the way in the back of the bus and a driver has to walk back there to turn it off, manually. This acts as a safeguard to remind drivers to always walk the entire length of the bus to see if any child is still there.
Jordan School District officials say Davis’ bus had one of these alarms, but it wasn’t working properly. Davis has heard stories of drivers dismantling these alarms because they were malfunctioning and going off when the bus was still in use.
“Every bus in the state of Utah should have an alarm on it and one that is constantly maintained and there’s no way somebody can tamper with it,” she says.
Since the incident in November, Davis says she has started working with her local legislators to see if lawmakers can make these alarms mandatory across Utah. She says parents with similar experiences are joining her cause.
Davis says, “We’re going to work together to see if we can have some state laws changed so that every bus has to have a working alarm.”
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