Special needs student left on Livonia school bus for hours

Livonia Public Schools bus driver, driver-in-training leave 7-year-old special needs student alone on bus for more than 2 hours

Author: Bisi Onile-Ere, Local 4 Reporter
Published On: Sep 20 2012 10:53:19 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 20 2012 11:08:11 PM EDT
LIVONIA, Mich. -

Karen Teran's 7-year-old son, who is a special needs student, was with eight other kids Tuesday on a bus headed for Livonia's Buchanan Elementary.

Everyone got off the bus that morning except for her son, who is unable to speak. The 59-year-old driver and a 63-year-old woman in training drove back to the bus yard and went about their business. Teran's son was left on the bus.

"My new slogan is that they couldn't count to eight. There were eight kids on that bus," Teran said. "Two adults told the transportation supervisor they checked, and the put the empty sign on the back of the bus. They must have been in a hurry to go somewhere and left my child in the bus for hours."

Had they followed policy, they would have found the boy buckled in his seat, just two rows back. He remained there, alone, for more than two hours. He finally was found by a student on an afternoon route.

"We can thank goodness that the weather wasn't hot, the weather wasn't cold, that there was a noon time run," said Teran.

Teran's son was found safe. Two days later, both the driver and driver-in-training resigned.

"Certainly, we can't extend a big enough apology in something like this. It just never should have happened," said Livonia Public Schools Superintendent Randy Liepa.

As for the bus drivers, Teran says it's about trust.

"They should not be allowed to work with children in any way, shape or form. They're just not trustworthy, obviously," she said.

Liepa says there is a policy in place that requires bus driver to check their busses for any children.