Mother says 6-year-old was left sleeping on school bus

Livonia Public Schools apologizes, says incidents are unacceptable

LIVONIA, Mich. - It's been a forgettable 10 days for Livonia Public Schools' bus program.

Three students have briefly gone unaccounted for due to mistakes.

Last Tuesday, a 7-year-old special needs student who was supposed be dropped off at Buchanan Elementary instead spent two hours sitting in a bus yard.

The next day, a first-grader at Randolph Elementary was mistakenly put on a bus when he was supposed to be kept at school.

Now, a mother is coming forward saying her 6-year-old was left on a bus for 40 minutes on Wednesday.

"He could have woken up along in a bus garage. In the dark," said the mother, who asked not to be identified.

She said she started panicking when her son didn't get off at his bus stop. She said she called the school and the bus driver directly.

"The school said he wasn't there. The bus driver said he's not on the bus," the mother said.  

For more than hour, school officials, the boy's parents and Livonia police searched for the boy. But then came a phone call from the bus driver.

"Our son was found on the bus, sleeping in the back. The bus driver hadn't even bothered to look for him until they pulled into the bus yard," the mother said.

Local 4 spoke with Livonia Public Schools Superintendent Randy Liepa, who said the situation was point-blank unacceptable.

"Our sincerest apologies, you know. If we had checked the bus first as opposed to checking the route first, we would have caught it sooner," he said.

Liepa says the district's policy is for all drivers to carefully check the entire bus before they get off.

The boy's mother wants the district to be more conscious.

"I just don't want any other parents to go through the nightmare we went through yesterday. Something's has got to change," she said.

The bus driver and special needs assistant in last week's two incidents were let go. As for the bus driver in the most recent case, disciplinary actions are yet to be finalized.

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