WORCESTER (CBS) – Jessica Reyes is terrified, but thankful her son Jamie will be okay after being left all alone on a school bus in Worcester last Thursday.
“He apparently he fell asleep on the bus and was in the bus until the end of the school day,” said Reyes. “Just thinking about could’ve happened. What if it was 90 degrees outside, and he has no water or no food?”READ MORE: Global Shortage Of Electronic Chips Leaves Mass. Car Dealerships With Low Inventory
Reyes says her son is a high-functioning autistic 13-year-old. Last Thursday, she put him on the school bus and thought everything would be fine. But he never made it to school that day.
Jamie was supposed to have been dropped off here at the Central Mass Collaborative, but instead he was left on the bus alone for about six hours. Schools officials are reviewing procedures to see what went wrong and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“You feel awful that any child be left on a bus,” said Maureen Binienda, Worcester Public Schools Superintendent. “It’s not acceptable for us.”
Binienda says there were only five other students on the specials needs bus that day, along with the driver and bus monitor, who were supposed to make sure all the kids get on and off the bus safely.READ MORE: Medical Examiner Rules Mikayla Miller's Death A Suicide
“When you press the button, he went this way, back up, instead of this way, where the kid was on the left. You have to check every seat,” said Binienda.
To make matters worse, when Jamie was dropped off at home that day, the bus driver never made mention of the incident. But Jamie was clearly bothered by it.
“He said he was upset. He was nervous, and then he got hungry,” Reyes said.
School officials say both the driver and bus monitor have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
“It’s a sad case for everybody,” said Binienda. “I’m just thankful that the student is fine.”MORE NEWS: 'Pure Empathy': Three Women Find Comfort In New Friendship After Losing Fathers To COVID
Reyes says after all that, Jamie was still courageous enough to get back on the bus the next day and report to school safely.