Texas City ISD workers fired after special needs student reportedly left on bus

TEXAS CITY, TX (KTRK) -- Two Texas City ISD transportation employees are out of a job after they left a ninth-grade special needs student on the bus Thursday.

We're told the boy fell asleep on the bus heading to Texas City High School, and when he woke up he was alone.

"The bus driver drove all the way to the bus barn without checking who was in there before she got out of the vehicle," the boy's mother, who didn't want to be identified, said.

She tells Eyewitness News after her son woke up, thinking he was in trouble for falling asleep on the bus, he walked to school to tell them what happened and then walked home.

"Didn't know he could do it but he walked all the way home by himself without his glasses, and he needs his glasses," said his mother. "I didn't even know he knew how to walk home because he has an intellectual disability and autism."

It's a little more than a mile from the bus barn to the high school, and then another mile and a half from the school to their house. Mom says anything could have happened in that distance.

"I was worried that he could have been abducted or maybe hit by a car," she said.

A district spokesperson says Texas City ISD procedures dictate that drivers should walk the bus to check for students. There's a sign on the back of the bus that's supposed to be flipped to say, "No students on board."

The district says the driver and the special education aide didn't follow the procedure. Both were fired Thursday.

Mom says that doesn't reassure her, but she's glad the district responded so quickly. She wants every bus driver in Texas City and all the districts across the Houston area to hear her well

"You can't be complacent," she said. "When you're driving a bus, check it. Don't just assume because it's quiet that nobody is still on there."

The district says student safety is one of its top priorities and they're committed to making sure this doesn't happen again. And on that note, the director of transportation met with all the bus drivers Thursday to re-emphasize the importance of following the procedures after every route
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