Thursday, March 16th, 2023
Student left on bus, investigation pending
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Two Celina City School employees have been placed on paid leave after a preschool student was mistakenly left unattended on a school bus for over three hours on Wednesday.
The bus driver and bus aide responsible for the student were relieved of their duties pending an internal investigation, said superintendent Ken Schmiesing. He declined to provide their names but indicated they have been with the district for some time.
Schmiesing said he will lead the investigation.
"We'll try to be as timely as possible with it," he told the newspaper.
Schmiesing would not comment when asked if the student was left unattended on the bus following the route to school or the route home.
"The student was located by our assistant bus mechanic and did not show signs of injury," Schmiesing wrote in a news release. "Upon being notified that the student had been left on the bus, the bus driver and bus aide responsible for the student were relieved of their duties pending an investigation."
He declined to comment when asked if the student was evaluated by a physician or other healthcare provider.
District officials also notified children's services.
"Because a child was left unattended," Schmiesing said, noting he is a mandatory reporter of such incidents.
Protocols are to be followed "when a bus is parked, and the driver is leaving the bus after students are on it," Schmiesing wrote in the release.
"Those procedures were not followed and the District will get to the bottom as to why, so that procedures can be put in place so that this does not occur again," he wrote. "The safety of our students is paramount."
According to the district's administrative guideline manual, at the completion of each bus run, the driver must conduct a complete walk-through of the bus to verify that no student remains on the vehicle.