Florida Special Needs Student Left on the School Bus...Again!


(Image: Bill McChesney)

A 13-year-old child with special needs in Lake Wales, Fla. was left on the school bus after everyone was off the bus…for the second time this month!

According to WESH in Orlando, Polk County school bus driver Gale Brown, 51, and bus attendant Gwendolyn Simmons, 57, were both arrested and face two counts of negligent child abuse after leaving the special needs on the bus on two separate occasions.

The affidavits stated that the first time the 13-year-old was left on the bus, the special needs student was sleeping during the trip to school. After being left behind, he climbed out the emergency window in the center section of the bus after all the other children had been dropped off at Our Children’s Academy in Lake Wales. The child then hitchhiked the 30 miles to his home in Davenport.

But wait, there’s more!

Brown and Simmons admitted that another child was allowed to deactivate the child reminder system on the bus that alerts the person in charge of the bus to check for remaining children after the last stop.

Yes, there is a system to remind the person in charge to make sure all of the children are off the bus, because otherwise “how would they know to check?”

According to WNCN in Raleigh, N.C., the student fell asleep on the school bus on March 8, only a week later, and had to break through bus door and hitchike home again.

Both Brown and Simmons were admitted to Polk County Jail.


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