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'It's Not Acceptable': Worcester Student Left Behind On School Bus For 6 Hours

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WBZ-TV's Paul Burton reports.

Video Transcript

KEN MACLEOD: Bus driver and bus monitor have been placed on administrative leave after a student was left behind on a Worcester school bus for hours. The student, one of only five on the entire bus, reportedly fell asleep on the ride home from school. Here's WBZ's Paul Burton.

JESSICA REYES: It's very upsetting. I'm just thinking about what could have happened. What if it was 90 degrees outside and he has no water, no food.

PAUL BURTON: Jessica Reyes is terrified, but thankful her son Jamie will be OK after being left alone on a school bus last Thursday.

JESSICA REYES: Well, apparently, he fell asleep on the bus and was in the bus until the end of the school day.

PAUL BURTON: Reyes says her son is a high functioning autistic 13-year-old. Last Thursday, he was put on a school bus from his house and thought everything would be fine. But he never made it to school that day. Jamie was supposed to be dropped off here at his school at the Central Mass Collaborative. Instead, he was left on the school bus by himself for about six hours. School officials are looking at their protocols to see what went wrong and to make sure this doesn't happen again.

MAUREEN BINIENDA: We feel awful that we have any child be left on a bus.

PAUL BURTON: Superintendent Maureen Binienda says there were only five other students on the special needs bus that day along with the driver and the bus monitor, who was supposed to make sure all the kids got on and off the bus safely.

MAUREEN BINIENDA: When he pressed the button, he went this way, back up instead of this way where the kid was on the left.

PAUL BURTON: And you're supposed to check every seat?

MAUREEN BINIENDA: You have to check every seat.

PAUL BURTON: To make matters worse, when Jamie was dropped off at home, the bus driver never mentioned the incident. But Jamie was clearly bothered by it.

JESSICA REYES: He was upset. He said he was upset. He was nervous. And then he got hungry.

MAUREEN BINIENDA: It's a sad case for everybody. We're just thankful that the student is fine.

PAUL BURTON: Reyes says after all of this, Jamie was still courageous enough to get back on the bus the next day and report to school safely.

JESSICA REYES: He doesn't realize the severity of the situation.

PAUL BURTON: In Worcester, I'm Paul Burton. WBZ News.