Driver placed on leave after 5-year-old was left on school bus all day

EMBED </>More Videos

Mom says 5-year-old left on cold school bus (KTRK)

A school bus driver has been placed on leave pending an investigation after a mother says her son was left on a school bus all day, officials say.

"I get to the school, I could tell that my child's been traumatized. It's been 14, 18 degrees this morning and my child was left on the school bus. The bus driver dropped him back off at the school once he picked up his route to drop off this afternoon," Tayanna McKenzie, the boy's mother said.

Tayanna says that 5-year-old Messiah McKenzie got on the Grantswood Community School bus around 8:40 a.m. Thursday. She got a phone call just after 3:00 p.m. saying her son was left on the bus.

"He could have froze to death, anything. Just a lot going through my mind. He's crying and calling my name. Just a lot going on," McKenzie said.

Jefferson County School officials are now reviewing the video on the bus to see exactly what happened.

Each school bus is reportedly equipped with cameras that are scheduled to continue to record for a few minutes after the driver shuts the bus off.

The driver is also supposed to do a walk through to make sure every child gets off, officials say.

"I'm a parent myself. I know how it is and being an employee of Jefferson County, we take this very seriously. The safety of our children. We want to find out exactly what happened. All of our drivers and employees are trained to walk throughout the bus to perform a safety check and that's our expectation," Walter Gonsoulin, the Deputy Superintendent of Jefferson County Schools, said.

Gonsoulin says the school district will be very transparent in this investigation and says if the bus driver is at fault, they will take swift action.

"I want answers. Someone needs to be fired and we need to take it from there. I'm not just going to let it stop here," McKenzie said.

An official from Jefferson County Schools released the following statement Friday about this incident:

"On January 18, 2018, a kindergarten student at Grantswood Community School was inadvertently left unattended on a school bus during the school day. The bus driver failed to follow proper procedures and has been placed on administrative leave. Fortunately, the student was not harmed; however, we recognize that these actions are unacceptable and we are addressing proper procedures with all of our bus drivers. Our bus drivers possess a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) with a P and S endorsement, which requires them to recertify on an annual basis. They also undergo mandatory trainings throughout the school year through the state department and our transportation department. A full investigation is underway, and, we assure the public that every step is being taken to ensure that this does not happen again. The safety of our students is of the utmost importance."

Report a typo to the ABC13 staff
Related Topics:
societyschool busbus driverchild left in caru.s. & worldAlabama
(Copyright ©2018 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.)