Driver disciplined after child left on Anderson school bus after route

School buses in Anderson, Indiana. (Photo: WTHR)

ANDERSON, Ind. (WTHR) - A school district has taken action after learning a student was left on a school bus last week.

It’s the second incident of its kind this school year.

It happened April 12 on an Anderson school bus operated by a private contractor. The child was an Erskine Elementary student.

“We do everything we can to prevent situations from occurring. Accidents occur, situations like we have here have occurred,” said Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith.

Smith would not go into detail but said the student was left on the bus for "a short time.”

The district reported the incident to the state Department of Education as required by Indiana law.

It's not clear if it was a case of the driver failing to check the bus at the end of the bus route, a common factor in children being left aboard buses either at the start or the end of the school day. That’s what happened in December, 2015 when a contracted Anderson driver left a five-year-old girl asleep on the bus.

“I was mad and frustrated, worried," mother Amanda Clevenger said at the time. “I put all my trust in the bus drivers when they pick her up."

In that case, the bus driver said she’d gotten sick and had to go home. The driver lost her job.

“It’s the fault of the school bus driver because they don’t pay attention about what’s going on and what they’re doing,” said Tim Cloat, a taxpayer in the district who sees the school buses come and go every day from his house across from Erskine. “They’re responsible for the kids. People need to wake up and take responsibility for the jobs and actions that they do.“

“The school corporation, obviously our first and ultimate goal is to get our students to and from the school and to and from their homes in a safe manner," said Smith.

The school superintendent said the contract bus driver was disciplined.

“That situation was dealt with appropriately by the company and they are working with us to make sure it doesn’t happen again," Smith said.

A mom picking up a child after school Friday said she was glad to hear that.

“It’s very terrifying, not knowing where your child is, so I can relate to the parent that that happened to," said Ashley Griswold.

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