3-year-old left on Nassau County school bus

Published On: Apr 02 2012 10:25:26 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 03 2012 06:19:49 AM EDT

Buckled in a seat belt and left alone on a school bus. Tonight a bus driver and an aide both on suspension. The mother of the child, furious and calling for a harsher punishment.

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. -

Lena Roman still can't believe her 3-year-old son, Manny, was simply abandoned on a school bus in Nassau County.

Roman said no one even noticed the boy was missing until he didn't show up at daycare and that's when his mom started asking where he was.

Manny goes to a pre-kindergarten program at Callahan Elementary and a week ago, when he didn't show up at daycare, there were questions as to whether he missed the bus at school, no one realized Manny was still on the bus when they were looking for him

"I had an emotional breakdown thinking where's my child. and when they called the transportation people and stated to him the bus hasn't even been checked, so the daycare said check the bus to make sure and he was in the bus still in seat belt," said Roman. 

"I've heard two stories, one that he was still sleeping, other that he was still awake trying to get out of his seat belt."

Manny's mom is grateful it wasn't too hot that day because she says her son was left on the bus for around an hour and a half.

"The bus gets dropped off at fairgrounds in Callahan, so my biggest fear is he would got out and walked on US1. So anything could have happened, it could have been 100 degree weather," said Roman.

Channel 4 spoke with Nassau County's Director of School Transportation David Buchanan on the phone said he was "very surprised" that this happened and added doing a last walk through of the buses when they're left in the yard is "one of the things we go over every in-service." 

Buchanan said it's routine to make sure no kids are left on the bus. The driver and an aide have been given a 5 days suspension without pay but Roman says she doesn't feel that punishment is severe enough.

"It's not enough not for putting child in jeopardy, if it had been different situation; even Mr. Buchanan told me it's called neglect and calls for termination of employment," said Roman.

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