Superintendent: Bus Driver Disciplined

Jessica Cooley told WSB-TV she is upset about her 3-year-old son, who attends S.T.A.R.S. Pre-K, being left on a school bus Friday for more than five hours.

Superintendent John Harper confirmed yesterday a 3-year-old speech therapy student was left on a school bus Sept. 9 for more than five hours.

According to WSB-TV, the child's mother, Jessica Cooley is upset her son was left on the bus and said the child was sweating and had soiled himself.

The mother told the TV station the driver, checking for children, looked on one side of the bus, but failed to check the other side. The incident was captured on video.

Harper told and "thankfully it was a cool day," and said the driver had been disciplined. He declined to say what measures were taken to discipline the "usually reliable bus driver."

The child was "fine," Harper added, citing a "good-weather day." He said the bus driver failed to follow procedure and as a human, made a mistake.

The bus picked up the child about 6:40 a.m. that Friday morning and he was discovered still on the bus shortly before it was scheduled to make an 11:30 a.m. run.

Cooley said she understands everyone makes mistakes, but added, "What if it had been a hot day?"

M Greenfield September 21, 2011 at 11:16 PM
I must be missing something here. First, why is this Bartow County story in the East Cobb Patch? Secondly, why is a 3 year old on a bus alone going anywhere? A child that age should be in the company of a parent or legal guardian for transportation.
Jessica cooley September 22, 2011 at 01:06 AM
Linda I agree something has to be done about this because it is being taken too lightly.thanx for ur support.Bill I appreiciate you for actually caring and not knowing us thanx alot..m greenfield if you read the article he goes there for speech they have a assistant on there they are just careless if I have time to accompany him I could just stay home with him duh..
Heather Alampi September 22, 2011 at 04:59 PM
I am shocked at BCS reaction to this - luckily it was a cool day? This child was left alone on a bus. What if he had gotten off and walked onto 41? What if she hadn't had another run that day? John Harper would have a lot more to deal with than it being a mistake. My kids attend Bartow Schools and have for years, it makes me angry that it seems to be so easily dismissed. I am glad to know that there are acceptable "good weather days" to leave kids on a bus.
Bill Thrasher September 22, 2011 at 05:36 PM
Linda, the "careless assistant" comment is very telling. While it is good to know that three yr old children are under direct supervision, it is scary to think that the assistant on the bus may somehow be "otherwise occupied" We may be flailing the wrong dog in going after the bus driver. That "assistant" needs to be examined under a microscope. The bus driver should **never** be placed into a position of having to divide their attention between driving and having to supervise children. Perhaps we can find some folks at the central office to be supervisory personnel on these buses.
Betty September 25, 2011 at 02:36 PM
Jessica,I'm sorry to here this happened to you and your son. I will pray for you both. I hope that you will bring him to a therapist to help him work out any hidden trauma he has,you too. Kinda hard to express how you feel inside at three. As for the assistant,I agree she should be held responsible as well.That is her sole job to take care of each student on that bus. The bus driver failed to look on the other side of the bus which I can't imagine how. I wonder if the county has advised the driver not to speak with you for legal reasons because any one with a beating heart would be devastated by this experience. That's what you need to hear though. You need someone to say that they are taking responsibility for what happened,a true heartfelt apology,a different bus driver and assistant and you allowed to vent. Please seek assistance so your son doesn't have this trauma stay hidden inside.


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