Autistic Boy Left in Van for 4 HoursElizabeth Nelson
On the morning of Tuesday, November 13th, a four-year-old boy with nonverbal autism boarded his transportation van to go to school just like every other morning. But when he fell asleep on the ride there and failed to get out with the other children, both the driver and the bus monitor missed him.
Thinking the bus was empty, the two adults exited the vehicle, leaving it in the parking lot of VSP Livery Service, the transportation company contracted to transport several special-needs children to and from Revere Public Schools each day.
The child was left in that parking lot in the van for four hours and was not discovered until the bus driver returned for the afternoon route.
The driver brought the child to Revere High School, where the Revere Public Schools Transportation Department is located. Staff there called 911 an the child’s mother, and the boy was checked out by EMTs.
“I was horrified,” said Wayne Rose, another bus driver for Revere Public Schools, who heard about the incident shortly after it happened. “As a bus driver, I’m appalled. Anything could have happened to him.”
Luckily, the child was found to be uninjured despite his long stay in a van alone, but his parents and the school are now on a mission to find out why and how this happened.
For now, the situation is still under investigation. The driver of the vehicle has been fired from VSP, and the transportation company claims nothing like this has ever happened in the 20 years they’ve been transporting students.
The bus monitor, who works for the school, has been put on paid administrative leave while police and the Department of Children and Families continue to search for answers about what really happened and how.
Revere Public Schools Superintendent Dianne Kelly held an emergency meeting with the school’s drivers and monitors before writing a letter home to parents to reassure them that the school is doing everything they can to keep children safe.
“This morning, we reviewed safety protocols and transport expectations with all of our own transportation department employees and with all school principals,” Kelly wrote. “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.”
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