A child was abandoned on an empty school bus and found wandering miles from his school Tuesday morning, The Advocate reported. It’s the third time in a little over a month a child has been left on a bus in Baton Rouge, La..
The child, a first-grader at Impact Charter Elementary School, fell asleep on the bus and was found wandering hours later near Istrouma High School, which is about nine miles south of the elementary school, according to the site.
“It’s scary and we’ve never had to deal with nothing like this,” the boy’s mother Dineshea Chambers said, according to WAFB. “He told us he had to use the bathroom really bad, so he found a lever at the bottom of the door and he opened up the door. He got off to use the bathroom and he looked around for the bus driver. He didn’t see her, so he started to walk.”
The child was spotted near Istrouma High and dropped off at the campus, where a police officer met him and reunited him with his mother, WBRZ reported.
“I think bus drivers and drivers of any kind who are carrying children should take the time to check,” Chambers said, according to the station. “He could have died.”
Police are investigating the incident and working to identify the bus driver, The Advocate reported.
It’s the third such incident in a little over a month, although the other buses were district buses, not charter school buses. A child was left on a school bus on September 25 and had to be pulled out through a window when a furniture store employee noticed the boy stuck in the bus, McClatchy previously reported.
“As a result of today’s events, all drivers will be reminded of this state law,” a school district spokeswoman said at the time, according to WAFB. “The safety and security of all students is our top priority.” The bus driver was fired, the station reported.
A few weeks later, on Oct. 12, another bus driver was fired after a 9-year-old was left on the school bus and tried to walk home, WBRZ reported.
“They supposedly changed the law but it seems like you hear about a child being left on a bus almost every week,” the boy’s mother said at the time, according to the station.