District investigates after woman claims driver kicked her sick daughter off school bus
Updated On: Oct 02 2013 07:03:40 PM EDT
A Central Florida woman wants answers after her 5-year-old daughter said she was kicked off her school bus after vomiting.
Orange County Public School policy dictates that when a child is sick on a bus, the driver is supposed to call dispatch, then bring the student to the school for the parent to pick up their child, said OCPS spokeswoman Kathy Marsh. It's still unclear if the bus driver called dispatch, Marsh said.
According to the district and the child's parent, the girl left the bus and was not taken to school after vomiting.
The bus driver has been put on another bus as a monitor pending investigation outcome. Local 6 has also learned the driver has been employed by the district for a month and a half and is still on probation.
"I honestly think he shouldn't be around kids period, she's five. That was child endangerment, child neglect," said Erika Herrera, the child's mother.
Lena Guzzo-Aguilar won't be riding the bus to Cheney Elementary School anytime soon after what happened Monday morning. She said she and her sister boarded the bus at their bus stop near Harrell Road and Avonshire Road when she got sick.
But what happened next, angers her mom.
"The bus driver said, 'Get out,'" Lena said. "I felt sad and I felt scared."
"She belongs to him, in his safety, in his care. How are you going to tell her to get off?" said Herrera. "It makes me kind of angry, depressed to think I trusted somebody, the school's public bus, and the person that was driving apparently didn't care about my kid."
The little girl said she was halfway through the bus to her assigned seat, when she vomited as the bus started to drive away. Then, she said the bus driver told her to get off the bus and that's when a stranger took her from the bus stop back her house.
"What would have happened if that lady wasn't a nice lady and just took her?" Herrera wondered.
Herrera said the bus driver allowed the girl's older sister to give her some napkins, but he then honked for the older child to re-board the bus and drove off, leaving the kindergartener to walk home with a stranger.
The school district said it is in the early stages of investigating what happened.
The bus driver said the girl ran off the bus and wasn't kicked off, but while the investigation is underway, the bus driver is off the route and officials are reviewing bus video to see exactly what happened.
Herrera said she will drive her daughters to school herself.
Local 6 also learned that there was a second incident at the bus stop in two days. One mother told her neighbors that her 5-year-old son never got off the school bus with the other students and when she called Cheney Elementary, she was told her son was accidentally left at the school.
The bus came around a second time to drop the student off.