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86 Incidents Of Indiana Children Being Left On School Buses Reported Since 2009
Updated December 10, 2015 7:30 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - New numbers released from the Indiana Department of Education reveal 86 incidents of children left on school buses since a law went into effect July 1, 2009 that requires school districts and bus companies to report within five working days.

Some of the incidents involve more than one child.

Data released Friday showed that the Metropolitan School District of Perry Township had six reported incidents of children left on school buses, more than any other school district in the state.

Lawrence Township schools have had four incidents since July 2009, while Brownsburg and School City of Hammond each had three incidents of children left on buses.

Perry Township schools terminated a bus driver and bus monitor Friday after a kindergarten student was left alone on a school bus Thursday after a route was completed for an estimated seven minutes. According to school officials, another bus driver heard the student still on the bus, and that's how the mistake was discovered.

In addition to the May 30 incident in Perry Township, a third-grader was left alone May 9 when a bus driver exited the bus to help a babysitter with a student who did not want to go to school, IDOE records show.

On Feb. 5, a driver left 25 students alone on board as he left the bus to assist students crossing the street.

The law doesn't require school districts to disclose how long a child is left, but incidents statewide showed times that ranged from a few minutes to several hours.

Bad things can happen when children are left alone in vehicles. A 3-year old boy from Texas died in July 2012 after being left inside a hot day care van.

On a freezing January day in 2010, an 8-year-old girl in Tippecanoe County fell asleep on the bus, then woke up and wandered across the street to a nearby store. Police took her home.

In Center Grove, a police officer found a disoriented student wandering the street after she awoke on a parked bus. The driver involved in that incident was fired.

According to a Call 6 Investigation contacted 55 percent of bus drivers who left a child alone lost their jobs or resigned, and 45 percent were disciplined in some way and kept their jobs.

Though parents can't find out online if a child has been left by their bus driver, they can request that information directly from the state Department of Education.

Residents can also ask a school district whether a child's bus driver has had any incidents.



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