BEVERLY (CBS) — Jennifer White is still shaken from an unsettling phone call Monday morning, when she found out her six-year-old son Edward was left on his school bus when he should have been dropped off at the North Beverly Elementary School.
“They said he went for an extra ride on the bus,” White told WBZ-TV’s Anna Meiler. “I asked how that could happen, and they said the monitor missed him because he was curled up in a ball on the school bus.”
Beverly Superintendent of Schools Steven Hiersche said the first grader fell asleep and didn’t get off the bus.
The bus driver went on the next run, with the student still on board. White said her son was left on the bus for 45 minutes.
Her eight-year-old daughter is the one who realized something was wrong.
“She’s the one who told the school, ‘My brother’s not here, he’s missing, he got on the bus with me and he’s not at school,’ ” White said. “How could this happen? He’s on the bus with a driver and a monitor. Clearly they didn’t count the kids or check the bus.”
In a statement to WBZ, Superintendent Hiersche said the student was never on the bus unattended.
“Within 15 minutes, we were aware that the student had not gotten off at the school and the bus was notified and returned to school to drop off the student,” he said.
But White said she’s still upset and uncomfortable.
“They need to count the kids as they get on and off the bus,” she said. “They need to check the bus to make sure there’s no one on the bus, and definitely be more vigilant.”
Superintendent Hiersche also said the district takes the safety of the students very seriously and they would be taking action to make sure nothing like this happens again.